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Stains on your teeth? An overview of the different types of teeth stains!

Stains on your teeth? An overview of the different types of teeth stains!

Created: August 22, 2022 | Updated: April 8, 2023

Having stains on your teeth, whether white, black, brown or yellow teeth, is very annoying and ruins your beautiful smile. Tooth stains can occur for many reasons, such as excessive exposure to sugars or wearing braces. What types of stains on your teeth are there and what do they mean?

How dental stains occur

Tooth discolouration can have many causes, but is often a sign of tooth decay. Often there are problems with the cells responsible for making tooth enamel. When these cells are damaged, the enamel can no longer be produced, causing bubbles to form in the enamel. As a result, white, yellow or brown stains may appear. The front teeth are particularly affected by this.

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Different types of teeth stains

The colour of your teeth is partly determined by heredity, but can also be greatly influenced by your diet, for example. This can also cause stains to appear on your teeth. What are the different types of teeth stains?

White spots on teeth

First, you may experience white spots on your teeth, which are often decalcification stains. It is caused by bacteria in your mouth converting sugars in your diet into an acid that damages your tooth enamel. White spot can also be caused by fluorosis, or excessive exposure to fluoride. There are many other causes, such as fever in young children. Here enamel forming cells react to the increase in body temperature, causing white spots. Breathing heavily through the mouth also causes the stains to appear because the sensitive enamel dries out.

Black spots on teeth

A black spot can be a hole in a tooth, which first appears as a brown spot and then slowly turns black. The phenomenon can also be caused by colouring substances in substances such as coffee, tea and tobacco. Licorice sometimes causes a black discoloration on the teeth. These staining agents attach themselves to tartar and plaque. It can be removed quite easily by a dental hygienist or dentist by polishing the teeth. However, if the diet is not changed, the stains may return.

Teeth with brown stains

The decalcification stains that turn white on your teeth can also turn brown over time. This is due to the absorption of nutrients in the stains. Brown discolouration can also be caused by mouthwashes, such as Listerine. You should not use this immediately after drinking tea or wine, as the agents will then soak into the discoloured parts of the food. Tartar, or hardened plaque, can also cause brown spots, as plaque builds up more easily here. Tartar can also be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.

Tea and coffee stains on teeth

As mentioned before, certain foods can cause discolouration on the teeth. This also applies to coffee and tea. The substances in these products attach themselves to plaque and tartar on your teeth, causing coloured stains.

Stained teeth from braces

Many young people have to wear braces during high school, which often reduces their motivation to brush properly. As a result, decalcification stains can occur in the areas where the fixed braces were worn. Good oral hygiene is therefore essential.

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Frequently asked questions

Tooth discolouration can have many causes, but is often caused by problems with the cells that produce tooth enamel. When these cells are damaged, the enamel is no longer produced and your teeth are much more vulnerable.

There are different types of stains, the most common being white, black and brown. Many people also get coloured stains on their teeth from drinking tea and coffee and wearing braces.

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