Analyzing Teeth Discoloration: Types and Causes of Staining

Your teeth serve a great purpose aside from breaking down the food we eat. It’s one of the first things people see on our faces. You can either make or break a first impression just with the state of your teeth. 

Teeth discoloration or stains can ruin a smile and dampen one’s confidence. These are typical occurrences that can arise from various causes. Thankfully, many of these stains can be treated and avoided.

Here’s all you need to know about teeth stains, as well as how to prevent them.

3 Various Types of Staining

Tooth discoloration is classified into three types: extrinsic, intrinsic, and age-related.

  • Extrinsic: These stains are literal surface-level stains, only affecting up to the tooth’s enamel or surface. Food, beverages, and tobacco are the most typical causes of extrinsic stains.
  • Intrinsic: Since this stain is found within the tooth, it is more resistant to over-the-counter whitening solutions. It frequently appears grey and is typically caused by certain drugs, tooth damage due to an injury, tooth decay, excessive fluoride, and genetics.
  • Age-related: When you become older, the enamel on your teeth starts to wear away, giving them a yellowish tint. Both external and intrinsic factors frequently induce age-related teeth discoloration.

3 Popular Causes of Teeth Stains: 

Here are three common reasons for teeth stains:

1. Coffee, Tea and Other Caffeinated Drinks

It’s not necessarily the caffeine in coffee and tea that causes tooth discoloration but the by-products of these beverages. The chemicals in coffee and tea break down the surface enamel of your teeth, making them look darker when they’re exposed to light. The discoloration applied on your teeth gets worse as the drink gets darker.

If you often consume coffee or tea, you may want to reduce your intake to keep your pearly whites bright.

2. Smoking

An estimated two-thirds of smokers will develop some tobacco-induced discoloration. This is why tobacco is a leading cause of tooth discoloration.

The leading cause of tobacco-induced tooth discoloration is a chemical called nicotine. Nicotine stains teeth and is more prominent in smokers than non-smokers because nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream when smoked.

3. Poor Oral Hygiene

If you’re not flossing or brushing correctly, or if you’re using toothpaste that doesn’t fight cavities, you’ll end up staining your teeth.

Cleaning and flossing regularly are essential to keep your teeth from turning yellow or orange.

3 Daily Steps to Remove and Avoid Teeth Stains

Certain tooth discolorations and stains can be removed with home remedies like brushing with baking soda and lemon juice or even with chemical-based toothpaste. You can also lessen smoking and intake of caffeinated drinks to prevent teeth discoloration. 

Aside from that, you also need to practice these three daily teeth maintenance steps for maintaining your pearly whites white and sparkling:

  • Brush Two to Three Times a Day: Keep in mind that you should spend at least two minutes brushing each time you brush your teeth. This is crucial in keeping your teeth healthy and stain-free.
  • Visit Your Dentist at Least Once a Year: If you have stained teeth, don’t wait until the discoloration has worsened. See your dentist as soon as possible! A dental visit can help you discover what is causing the stains and the best type of treatment to get rid of them.
  • Floss around Your Teeth Twice a Day: Discolored teeth can be caused by food and bacteria trapped in between the teeth and even braces. There are some things your toothbrush cannot reach, so flossing at least twice a day ensures you get all food particles out and keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy.


Discolored teeth can be embarrassing and can make you feel self-conscious. If they’re severe, you may even be embarrassed to smile. If you want the best-looking smile, you need to be proactive about your oral health. 

By avoiding the causes of discoloration and visiting the dentist for checkups, you can avoid the expense and embarrassment of extensive dental treatment.

At Smart Dental Care, we provide 24-hour dental care for all of your dental requirements, from cavities to dentures to teeth whitening services in Utah. We also offer same-day crowns and utilize 3D imaging to serve our patients’ needs better. Come in for a consultation and ask any questions about our dental treatment today!