How to Deal with Discolored Teeth

In Cosmetic Dentistry November 7, 2016

It’s hard to keep your teeth white, especially if you’ve consistently struggled with dental problems or have less-than-healthy habits. However, restoring your smile’s bright white appearance is possible when you consider what factors have contributed to staining and discoloration, and what methods are available to best alleviate these problems.

Cause of Discoloration

The most notorious culprits for teeth appearing dull and yellowed are the intake of certain drinks, such as coffee, dark teas, and red wine. But dental infections can also be problematic for the color of teeth. A tooth that has been infected, where nerves and tissue inside teeth have “died”, will appear darkened and gray. It’s also important to note that if you have any existing prosthetics, like dental crowns, bridges, and veneers, these may be susceptible to staining depending on materials used.

Internal and External Bleaching

Once you’ve determined what diet and health habits may have caused discoloration in the first place, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist about what to do from there. Most external stains caused by food, tobacco, and some medications can be lifted with bleaching treatment. Discoloration caused dental infection may need to be lifted with targeted treatment that whitens your tooth from the inside out.
Custom whitening trays, doctor-recommended bleaching strips, and other professional strength treatments can all be recommended to remove staining on natural dental enamel.


In cases where discoloration is too severe to be removed to your satisfaction with teeth bleaching, a dental prosthetic may be needed. For teeth that are otherwise healthy but deeply stained, porcelain dental veneers cover the front surface of a tooth and re-create the natural sheen and shape of healthy, bright dental enamel. Teeth that are decayed, damaged, or have been treated for infection are typically capped with dental crowns, which can also be made with life-like materials to produce stunning results. If your smile is currently a combination of natural enamel and prosthetics, it’s important to consider how bleaching your real teeth will, in contrast, make existing restorations look less attractive. Restorations may then need to be replaced with prosthetics of a different shade for best matching.

Drs. Steven Bowen and John Wang are experienced in provide seamless cosmetic dental restorations and offer several whitening options to refresh your smile. If you have questions about getting a whiter smile, contact our dental office for a consultation.


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