Stains on Your Teeth: Types, Causes And Removing Options

If you have started hiding your smile because of the discoloration on your teeth, you are definitely not alone. A huge number of people are struggling with the same issues. Does this mean that all of those people should hide their smiles at all costs, without ever showing their teeth in front of anyone else? That would be a pretty unpleasant way of living, wouldn’t it?

There are two things you should do instead of hiding yourself and being embarrassed. First of all, you should accept the fact that your teeth don’t determine who you are and refuse to let them destroy your confidence. Additionally, since everyone loves having a great smile, you should do something about those stains, because there are definitely ways you can remove them.

Before we get to the part of removing the stains, though, let us talk a little bit about the different types and causes of discoloration. Understanding these types and causes will actually help us realize which stain removal method we should be using for our particular condition. After all, we don’t all have the same teeth, nor do we all have the same stains appearing. So, let us get started with the types.

Types Of Tooth Stains

As I have already mentioned, the treatment process for each of these types is different, which is why understanding them is important. There is one more reason why you need to get acquainted with these types. Basically, you might be able to prevent staining if you realize what’s causing it, and understanding the different discoloration types will help you easily do that. Below are the three most common kinds of stains.



Enamel is the hard part of the tooth that protects your dentin and the pulp of the tooth. Basically, this is the part of your teeth that comes in contact with anything you eat, drink, and consume. It is also known as the superficial part, or the surface of the tooth. Over time, this part can get stained due to the fact that it touches everything you consume. This is the most common type of staining, but luckily, it is also the easiest one to solve.

Keep in mind that the darker the food and beverages you consume, the more serious and visible the staining will be. People usually blame coffee for these stains and while I cannot argue against that since coffee does have its role in causing this problem, the truth is that other substances such as black tea, red juices, wine, berries, and other substances are also to blame just as much as coffee. In other words, there is no one cause of this problem, but multiple.



The sensitive tissue found just below the enamel layer on your tooth is called dentin. When this layer gets darker, i.e. more yellow, then the rest of the tooth, it means that you are dealing with intrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains appear once the enamel, i.e. the surface, wears off, meaning that these attacks under the surface of your teeth. Thus, they are much more serious and much more complicated to deal with.

Usually, these aren’t caused by the food and drinks you consume, but they can certainly be caused by medications, especially if you have been exposed to certain substances through the medication at a young age. If you have been exposed to fluoride too much, then these stains are bound to appear. They aren’t spread across your whole tooth. Instead, these appear as dark spots on your teeth.


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No matter how hard you try to take care of your teeth and no matter how great your oral hygiene is, there are some things that simply cannot be avoided. For example, aging. You cannot exactly stop the time, can you? Aging has an impact on your whole body, meaning that it also affects your teeth. As time passes by, your teeth are bound to change their color and get a bit darker.

This is usually caused by the fact that the enamel has thinned down over the years, so the dentin is getting darker. In this particular situation, no culprit is to be sought for. This doesn’t have to do with your food and beverage consumption, or your oral hygiene. It is simply something that happens as people age and you have to accept it. Of course, in addition to accepting it, you can also treat it, but we will get to that later.

Causes Of Stains

Before we get to explaining how you can get rid of stains on your teeth (check no matter the type of staining you are affected by, let us quickly go through some of the most common discoloration causes. There certainly are a lot of causes and while we cannot prevent some of them, we can definitely do something about the others and thus try to make sure that our teeth won’t get discolored at a young age. Let’s take a look at some of the causes. Remember, if you feel that some of these might be causing your particular discoloration, try to change that.

Foods And Drinks


I have mentioned above that you should try and change something if you realize that certain things are causing your teeth discoloration. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should stop eating or drinking, or give up your favorite food and beverages. That would be too much, wouldn’t it? Yet, there are some foods and some drinks that you might want to try and avoid at least some of the time, so that you can protect your teeth.

Those include certain vegetables and fruits such as potatoes, berries, apples, and similar. When beverages are in question, black coffee, tea, red wine, and red juices are those drinks that mostly influence your teeth and cause discoloration. As I have said, the key is not in getting rid of everything you like to eat and drink, since I don’t believe that would either be feasible or smart. The key is in being moderate and trying to avoid some of these ingredients.

Poor Dental Hygiene


It goes without saying that poor dental hygiene has a huge impact on the color of your teeth. Not brushing, flossing, and rinsing regularly can lead to plaque build-up, which is not only going to cause discoloration, but also tooth decay and possibly even some more serious issues. While there might have been some concessions and compromises when food and drinks are in question, there should be no compromises when it comes to dental hygiene. So, don’t forget to brush, floss, and rinse regularly if you want to have a great smile and prevent discoloration.



This is one of the most obvious causes of tooth discoloration. Some of our bad habits certainly do have a bad impact on our teeth, and chewing or smoking tobacco is one of those habits. While I understand how difficult it might be for people to actually get rid of this habit, that is the only way to avoid discoloration caused by tobacco. Lowering intake can only do so much.



While I was talking about the intrinsic type of stains, I have explained that these are caused by certain medications. If you remember what I was saying, you know that this is a more serious discoloration type which causes brown spots that are a bit difficult to remove. Yet, if your doctor prescribes medications that you have to take in order to deal with a different issue in your body, there is nothing you can do about it and your teeth are bound to suffer. The only thing you can do is find a way to remove those stains afterward.

How To Remove Teeth Stains

You can certainly do your best to try and avoid staining your teeth, but the truth is that there will always be at least some amount of discoloration that you will have to deal with. Luckily, there are certain treatment types that you can resort to and, depending on the type of stains, these treatments range from easy to more difficult ones. You can try some natural methods at home, you can get certain whitening products, or you can undergo some procedures in your dentist’s office. Let’s take a look at all of these methods respectively.

At-Home Method


The most popular and the most effective at-home stain removal method is, of course, the use of baking soda. No, I’m not talking about eating it or baking with it in order to get rid of discoloration. That is certainly impossible. Instead, this method requires you to brush your teeth with baking soda. Be careful not to try and put the soda directly on your brush, because that probably won’t have any effect whatsoever.

Here’s what you should do instead. Mix the baking soda with water until you create a mixture that you can use as toothpaste. Then, brush your teeth with that mixture. You shouldn’t do this every day, because it can damage the enamel, meaning that any further discoloration and damage will go to your dentin. Instead, use this mixture once a week and brush with it for only two minutes.

Whitening Products


There are also some whitening products that you can try in order to stop hiding your smile. Those include whitening toothpaste, strips, gels with trays, and other similar products. When you start searching for these, you will see that there are a lot of options on the market and you can feel free to try out a few of them. These products usually work best for extrinsic stains.



Since intrinsic stains are the hardest to remove, you will most likely have to pay a visit to your dentist in order to get rid of those brown spots. The dentist might recommend dental crowns, dental bonding, porcelain veneers, lumineers, or some other treatment options. Make sure to do your research on all of those and talk to your dentist in order to choose the best option for you.

About Jeanette Iglesias