Teeth Staining and Teeth Whitening

Author: Jeff Salmeri

One of the most common reasons people choose teeth whitening is for the removal of stains. Stains on teeth occur over time from exposure to certain food particles, liquids as well as due to aging and wear. There are a couple different types of stains that can be removed with teeth whitening and a number of reasons teeth become stained in the first place.

Extrinsic Stains

Teeth whitening can be successful at removing both extrinsic and intrinsic stains. Extrinsic stains appear on the outer surface of teeth, and result from things like chronic exposure to coffee or other dark beverages, tobacco or certain types of food. In order to prevent extrinsic stains, brushing and periodic dental cleaning is important. Teeth whitening can help significantly with stains which are resistant to normal brushing and cleaning. Keep in mind that lack of proper care and attention can lead to stains that penetrate the dentin. These may be impossible to treat, even with professional teeth whitening products.

Intrinsic Stainsstained teeth coffee staining

Intrinsic stains are a bit more complicated to deal with and may also be more difficult to prevent. This type of stain forms on the interior of teeth and results from excessive exposure to fluoride and minerals and can also come about generally due to aging or trauma. As teeth whitening technology progresses, certain systems are now available that can whiten even difficult intrinsic stains. These types of products may require more time and effort for the best results, but can work with consistent use over a period of several months.


Different methods of teeth whitening are available, depending upon which type of staining you’d like to treat. You may find best results with in-office whitening which your dentist will oversee. Alternatively, you may find more convenience with professional teeth whitening options from your dentist that allow you to whiten your own teeth at home.

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Posted in: Teeth Whitening