Dentist Ithaca Teeth discoloration: types and cause

Dentists in Ithaca, NY offers the best dental care your teeth deserves

Teeth discoloration is yet another common oral problem. This is caused by a lot of factors. From the food that we consume to the bad oral habits like smoking, teeth discoloration can happen to anyone. 

Three things to watch out for that can cause teeth discoloration:


                  1.      Acids

These are the chemicals that make tooth enamel softer making it susceptible to stains.

2.      Tannins

These are the compounds from plants that we commonly eat that makes it easier for stains to adhere.

3.      Chromogens

These are compounds with a strong colorant that sticks to tooth enamel.


Types of teeth discoloration


●     Extrinsic discoloration

This refers to the discoloration outside the layer of the tooth which is called enamel. This is commonly caused by the strong pigment of some beverages or food we regularly consume, like coffee, or soda.


Smoking can also be a cause of this type of teeth discoloration.


●     Intrinsic discoloration

This refers to the discoloration of the inner structure of the tooth which is called dentin. This is commonly caused by too much exposure to fluoride at a young age. Another possible cause is when a pregnant mother took tetracycline antibiotics during the late stage of pregnancy. Dental trauma which results in internal bleeding can also discolor the tooth.


●     Age-related discoloration

Our teeth structure changes as we age, just like our skin, it develops fine lines making stains get into this crevices and easier set in. This is a mixture of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. The dentin naturally becomes yellow over time while the enamel gets thinner. This allows the yellow dentin to be slowly exposed as we get older.


Teeth discoloration is the most prevalent, yet the easiest oral problem to treat. Good oral hygiene and dental-friendly diet are one way to prevent this from happening.