Teeth Whitening: Stain Types and Treatment Options

If teeth stains have been causing you to hide your smile, it’s time to consider teeth whitening treatments. Overtime, teeth can become stained due to a variety of lifestyle factors. Since there are different types of stains, that means that there are different types of ways to whiten your teeth. Whether it be store-bought or professional whitening treatments, this is what you need to know about brightening your smile!

Types of Stains

There are three main categories of teeth stains. Those include: extrinsic, intrinsic, and age-related stains.

  • Extrinsic stains: These tooth stains are caused by outside factors. These include foods, drinks, and tobacco use (i.e., coffee, tea, red wine).
  • Intrinsic Stains: Another type of teeth stain is intrinsic stains which occur naturally due to aging processes. This includes the breakdown of enamel as well as dyes in fillings.
  • Age-related stains: The final type of teeth stain can be attributed to aging which includes the breakdown of enamel and teeth discoloration due to fluoride loss (i.e., teeth yellowing).

Teeth Whitening Treatments

There are two main teeth whitening treatment options: store-bought and professional. Since teeth stains can be caused by a variety of lifestyle factors, it is important to consider all teeth whitening treatment options.

Store bought teeth whitening: These teeth whitening treatments include over the counter products, such as toothpaste and mouthwash which contain fluoride or hydrogen peroxide to help remove stains. If you’re looking for a quick fix this is an option for you.

Professional teeth whitening: The second teeth whitening treatment option is a professional teeth whitening service. At Young Family Dental, we offer two different professional teeth whitening treatments: in office and at home. In-office ZOOM!® whitening can brighten your smile up to six shades in just one appointment. This is the quickest and often most efficient teeth whitening method.

Do Teeth Stains Affect Your Dental Health?

Although teeth stains do not typically affect your dental health, they can cause teeth to appear discolored which often leads people to cover their smile. So if stained teeth are getting in the way of you smiling and showing your emotions, then you should consider teeth whitening treatments.

When do you need teeth whitening? This answer depends on the type of tooth stain and desired outcome. If your teeth become stained as a result of smoking or drinking coffee, then an in-office teeth whitening service is best. If your teeth naturally become stained as a result of aging, then professional at-home teeth whitening systems could work just as well for you.

As always it is important to check with your dentist before beginning any teeth whitening treatment regimen.

Risks of Teeth Whitening

There are a few teeth whitening risks to be aware of before starting your teeth whitening regimen.

  • Sensitivity: Teeth whitening treatments, especially those occurring in-office can cause teeth sensitivity for some people. This is more likely to occur if you have had teeth fillings or crowns as these types of dental restorations are more likely to cause teeth sensitivity.
  • Tooth damage: Another teeth whitening risk is tooth enamel damage or teeth discoloration after teeth whitening treatments. If you notice any of these symptoms, stop using the teeth whitening products immediately and see your dentist for treatment options.

Relieving Side Effects

Teeth and gum sensitivity are usually temporary and stop after completing your treatment. Colgate explains that if you’re wondering how to help sensitive teeth after whitening, try these options to help find some relief:

  • Use a lower concentration of whitening treatment
  • Reduce the amount of whitening treatment in the tray
  • Increase time between treatments
  • Take a break from your whitening treatments until sensitivity reduces
  • Use a desensitizing treatment or varnish applied chair-side in your dental office
  • Brush with a gel or toothpaste that helps reduce tooth sensitivity

It is important to note that if your pain and sensitivity persist if you experience overtreatment, it’s important to make an appointment at Young Family Dental. 

Remove Stains with Young Family Dental

If you would like to improve the appearance of your smile, we welcome you to make an appointment at any of our Utah dental offices in Riverton, American Fork, Saratoga Springs, West Jordan, or Orem to schedule a personal consultation with any of our dentists. We love seeing the added confidence people feel after smile makeovers and we can help decide what dental procedures would work best to optimize your oral health and improve your smile!