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What are Intrinsic Stains?

Everybody’s teeth stain to one extent or another throughout their life. It is a fact of everyday living as well as a part of aging. Some stains are able to be fixed with over-the-counter teeth whitening kits, allowing you to perfect your pearly, white smile while others are not able to and require professional whitening and possibly even restorations depending on the severity. The stains that you can help fix are extrinsic stains; these are the stains that are on the outside of your teeth or the surface of the enamel. Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, are stains that are in the interior components of your teeth and will not be whitened by any over-the-counter whitening attempts.

The Intrinsic Stain Description

An intrinsic stain is more complex than the stain on the exterior of your enamel. The interior stain affects the dentin of your tooth. The dentin is the layer beneath the enamel that holds all of the feeling in your tooth. If you have ever chipped your tooth or had serious decay that allowed the dentin to be exposed and you felt the pain with hot or cold foods, you have experienced dentin pain. When the dentin becomes discolored, your tooth looks either darker or has a yellow shade to it. It can be caused by a variety of things, but the one common factor is that you will need professional assistance to make it disappear.

What Causes Intrinsic Stains?

Obvious things like food and lifestyle habits can cause extrinsic stains, but what causes intrinsic stains? The cause is not as preventable or easy to pinpoint. Some patients experience it as a result of excessive antibiotic use in their childhood years or their mother took tetracycline while pregnant with them during the second half of the pregnancy. Other causes include excessive exposure to fluoride, injuries to the tooth, and side effects of medical conditions.

If you have intrinsic stains or you are not sure, but the stains on your teeth do not change at all when you try an over-the-counter whitening kit, you may have interior stains that need professional attention. There are several options to remove the stains including professional teeth whitening or tooth restoration procedures, such as dental veneers, which are handy when the stains are not able to be changed through any other method. The key is that you are left with pearly, white teeth that make you happy to smile!

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