There are many types of teeth stains, which have several colours – notably brown or yellow. It is common to have stained teeth after consuming certain foods and drinks. Generally, brushing your teeth is enough to remove the appearance of tooth stains, so they are likely to disappear during your regular cleaning and oral hygiene regimen. Simple brushing and flossing is a solid preventative measure.

However, sometimes stained teeth could be due to something else within the mouth – or even the body. When something comes into contact with your teeth and causes a stain, dentists call this an extrinsic tooth stain – if it is caused by something else in the body it is known as an intrinsic tooth stain.

Potential causes of stained teeth include the following:

  • Poor oral hygiene: Not brushing your teeth will cause tooth enamel to decay and a host of other issues, which may cause many types of stains or tooth discolouration. Try to keep regular brushing as a top priority.
  • Smoking tobacco: Tobacco smoke causes stained teeth and a wide range of other dangerous health issues. Nicotine stains are typically yellow stains with an orange hue – and can occur on the front and back of the teeth.
  • Drinking coffee: Coffee lovers are well-aware of how that morning cup of coffee can put some pep in your step, but it can also cause brown stains after drinking. Coffee stains are one of the most common teeth stain issues.
  • Drinking tea: Tea stains are extremely common and people have less awareness of them in comparison to coffee, black teas are particularly troublesome for leaving stains. Fruit or green tea can stain your teeth too!
  • Drinking red wine: Red wine can easily cause dark, reddish stains on your teeth. Red wine, and other forms of alcohol, work very similarly to sugar in terms of their effects on your teeth – so wines will stick to your teeth closely.
  • Older age: Teeth are fully formed at a relatively early age, and tooth enamel naturally wears away as you get older. This can easily make the appearance of stains more apparent. It is common to have yellow staining as you age.
  • Tooth decay: Possibly the most serious cause of stained teeth is tooth decay, which can cause dark, black stains. If a tooth decays and dies you may get tooth pulp necrosis – a condition that can cause significant pain.
  • Black tartar: This is what happens when you have a build-up of bacteria around the gum line, they cause very dark black stains at the top edge of the teeth, near the gum, which can also spread to the rest of the tooth.
  • Infections and disease: In rare cases, teeth may have a stain due to a non-dental issue – such as a viral infection. Some treatments for cancers of the mouth or neck areas cause discoloured teeth, such as chemotherapy.

The other cause of stained teeth is an injury, which can cause discolouration in the tooth enamel. Stained teeth from an injury are more prevalent in children – where the disturbance to enamel formation can cause greater discolouration.

How to Clean or Get Rid of Stained Teeth

woman teeth before and after whitening. Over white background.

Dealing with stained teeth can be worrying, especially for people who do not like going to the dentist. Luckily, removing stains is usually a relatively simple process in most cases – and not painful at all! Lots of the ways to get rid of stained teeth are simple and safe to try at home, although some will require a visit to a dentist.

Methods to get rid of stained teeth include the following:

  • Use a teeth whitening toothpaste: Many kinds of toothpaste incorporate baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, which will make it easier to remove stains. Baking soda is a strong substance, but this type of toothpaste uses a small amount. You can also have professional teeth whitening treatment.
  • Practise better oral hygiene: If you have early-stage tooth decay it is possible to reverse the development of caries, which may improve the appearance of stains. Better cleaning and hygiene habits are also helpful for reducing the chances of developing black tartar.
  • Consider alternative strategies: You can avoid problem foods and drinks altogether but then again it is entirely possible to find alternatives or ways around staining foods. You can try using a straw or switching from coffee to an alternative caffeine drink. Red wine fans can consider a switch to white.
  • Carry gum or mints: Chewing gum and strong mints can help to clean the stains from your teeth and also give you fresher breath. Adding a small pack of mints or gum to your pocket or bag will mean that you are ready to tackle the problem of stained teeth in a problematic situation.
  • Restorative treatments: For stained teeth that result from tooth decay, restorative dentistry may be the best option. Options include white coloured fillings, tooth extraction and root canal treatments. This treatment can be uncomfortable but will not be painful.

Even the most badly stained teeth can benefit from a professional cleaning by a dentist. Using special tools to remove plaque and tartar can help to improve the appearance of teeth, particularly for yellow stains. Polishing during a dental teeth cleaning is also a very good way to remove stains from the surface of the enamel.

Book an Appointment to Get Rid of Stained Teeth

Removing brown stains, black stains, yellow stains, red stains, purple stains or any other colour of the rainbow is usually achieved by a good cleaning and regular oral hygiene. You can also simply avoid certain foods or habits that cause stained teeth as a preventative strategy. Dental treatments are necessary in some cases.

As leading providers of a range of dental treatments in the Brighton and Hove area, we can offer effective treatments for stained teeth, especially for nervous patients. You will see our caring and supportive services, which include options for safe dental sedation – when you get in touch with us.


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