Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

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Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

Making decisions about your smile can be confusing. Should you have a tooth pulled or get a root canal? Should you get adult braces or stick with a retainer? Should you use at-home whitening remedies or have your teeth professionally whitened? If questions like these are keeping you up at night, you've come to the right place. I used to stress out over routine dental procedures, and as a result, I did loads of research on everything dental-related. To help others, I'm using this blog as a place to collect, review and share what I've learned through the years. I hope you can use the information here to help you plan and prepare for your next dental appointment.

The Various Types of Teeth Staining That Can Be Remedied with Whitening Treatment

A beautiful smile is a great self-esteem booster. It makes you look sociable and feel confident when interacting with others. However, teeth staining can get in the way of this. The discolouration may either be superficial or occur within the tooth layers.

The three common types of stains are extrinsic, intrinsic and age-related. The good news is that some of these stains can be remedied with teeth whitening treatment, restoring your pearly whites. 

Read along to learn more about the three types of teeth stains.

Extrinsic Staining

Extrinsic stains occur when the outer layer of the tooth (called the tooth enamel) becomes discoloured. Common causes include heavy smoking and heavy drinking of beverages like coffee, wine and cola. 

Teeth whitening treatment can help to eliminate the stains, but adopting good oral health practices and going for professional teeth cleaning is vital to keeping your teeth bright and white.

Intrinsic Staining

This is more intrusive than the extrinsic kind. It affects the dentine -- the hard, calcified layer of a tooth found beneath the enamel -- causing it to darken or adopt a yellow tint. Common causes of intrinsic discolouration include the following:

  • Exposure to fluoride during early years of childhood (usually when the fluoride is common in water)
  • Exposure to tetracycline antibiotics from your mother during the second and third trimester of pregnancy
  • Internal bleeding in a permanent tooth
  • Medical conditions, such as dentinogenesis imperfecta, which tend to result in coloured teeth -- mostly purple, grey or amber

Common ways to prevent intrinsic staining involve avoiding early childhood exposure to fluorine, adopting preventative oral health measures such as brushing your teeth after meals, rinsing your mouth after drinking wine, cola or coffee, stopping smoking and scheduling visits to a dentist for professional teeth cleaning. 

If your teeth are already stained, a dentist can administer teeth whitening treatment to remove the stains.

Age-Related Staining

This occurs from a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic variables, as well as the natural yellowing of the teeth as the years go by. The latter occurs when you become old and the enamel wears out and becomes thinner over time. 

While teeth whitening treatments can help to fix the problem, your dentist will have to first ascertain that there are no underlying diseases contributing to the staining of your teeth.

Whether you suffer from extrinsic, intrinsic, age-related or a combination of the above-highlighted types of stains, it is important to consult a qualified dentist before undergoing teeth whitening treatment. Book an appointment with a dentist today to discuss your teeth whitening options.