Dental Tips Blog


Four Common Causes of Tooth Stain

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Stained teeth can make your smile look older, damage your self-confidence, and keep you from wanting to smile around other people or in photographs. There are 4 types of stains that are very common and can significantly impact your smile. 

Tobacco Stain

Smoking causes some of the most significant dental stain of any other source. Just a few cigarettes cause deep-set stain inside and over the tooth. Over time, smoking can make your smile look much older than it actually is. 

Coffee, Tea, Soda, and Red Wine

These beverages are known to cause significant amounts of stain on the teeth. Stain usually begins on the superficial areas of the tooth, but long term stain can begin to soak deep into the enamel. Some people prefer to drink beverages through a straw in order to limit contact time with the teeth. 


Although this isn’t seen as frequently, some types of medication can cause discoloration if it is taken during tooth development. Tetracycline is one of these medications, and often causes a bluish-grey hue to the tooth. Some types of vitamins also cause superficial dark stain on the outside of the tooth. 

Internal Damage

Internal staining of the tooth can occur if the nerve has been damaged. For instance, if you fall and hit the tooth and the tooth begins to die, it will slowly become more discolored. This also happens with teeth that have been treated with root canals but not restored with a porcelain crown. 

Depending on the type of stain that is present, a professional cleaning can help remove it. Deeper-set stains may need professional whitening treatments to safely remove them and restore a bright appearance to your smile. During your next preventive care appointment, ask your dentist or hygienist which type of teeth whitening treatment is best for your smile needs.

Posted on behalf of Find Local Dentists

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