Tag Archive Dental Stains Tips

How to Avoid Extrinsic Dental Stains

teeth-stained-by-nicotineStains located on the outer surface of the tooth structure and caused by external agents. Mouth is subjected to many exogenous and endogenous substances that stains the teeth. Also the oral flora contains many type of color producing deposits which also causes stains. Discoloration include brown, black, gray, green, orange and yellow. Teeth especially, the front teeth appear while talking and smiling. If your teeth are white in color without any stains then you can talk or smile confidently.

The external stains are caused by predisposing factors and other factors.

Predisposing factors are

Poor oral hygiene

Enamel defects

Salivary dysfunction

Saliva plays major role in removal of debris from the outer and interdental surfaces. Diminished saliva production leads to accumulation of stain producing food, beverages, tobacco and other topical agents in the pits ,fissures and defects in the outer surface of enamel. These accumulated food particles or topical agents produce black or brown stains on the tooth surface

Other factors

  • Plaque and calculus
  • Food and beverages
  • Color producing bacteria
  • Tobacco
  • Metallic compounds
  • Topical medications

Plaque and calculus:

Most common cause bof extrinsic stains is poor oral hygiene. Dental plaque and calculus produce brown /black discoloration of tooth surface and interdental area.

Food and beverages:

Accumulation of stain producing foods and beverages leads to brown discoloration of tooth. Tannins are present in the Tea, coffee, other beverages. Accumulation of these tanins on the tooth surface gives brown stains.


Tobacco stains cover the cervical one third to one half of the tooth. Tobacco stains are dark brown and black in color. ex:

  • Cigarettes
  • Cigars
  • Chewing tobacco

Pan chewing produces red black stains on the teeth, gingiva and oral mucosa.

Chromogenic bacteria:

Actinomyces species  action on plaque produce  H2S(hydrogen sulphide).hydrogen sulphide reacts with iron in the saliva and gingival exudate and produce ferric sulphide which is black in color. Pencillium, aspergellus species produce Green stains, Flavobacterium lutenscens produce orange color.

Topical medication:

  • Chlorhexidine mouthwash-After several weeks of use it stains the teeth in brown color.
  • Fe containing solutions used to treat iron deficiency anemia produce black stains.
  • Potassium permanganate mouthwash-violet black strains
  • Silver nitrate-black stains
  • Stannous fluoride-brown stains
  • Some systemic medication such as Minocycline, Doxycycline

Metallic compounds:

Iron, manganese, silver reacts with plaque and produce black stains on the tooth surface. Mercury produces blue green stains.


There has been a recent increase in interest in the treatment of tooth staining and discoloration.

  • Scaling
  • Ultrasonic cleaning, air-jet polishing with an abrasive powder
  • Cessation of habits such as smoking, pan chewing.
  • Bleaching
  • Salivary dysfunction should be treated

Bleaching (tooth whitening):-

The technique involved in the bleaching process is oxidation. With proper patient selection, bleaching is safe, easy and inexpensive modality that is used to treat many types of tooth fiscoloration. Usually bleaching is not indicated for the primary teeth. Two types of bleaching methods are present.one is vital bleaching and the other is non -vital bleaching.


  • Use a straw: sipping beverages through a straw is believed to help keep teeth staining beverages away from the teeth, the front teeth in particular.so use straw for cola and juices.
  • Don’t retain things in your mouth for long period of time
  • Swish with water: its not6 always convenient to brush your teeth after having food or drink. Enamel is highly vulnerable to abrasion from tooth brushing for up to 30 minutes after the consumption of an acidic food or beverages.so it’s safer simply to swish with water and brush later , once the enamel has had a chance to reharden or chew sugarless gum after eating or drinking.
  • Daily twice brushing
  • Regular flossing
  • Avoid over consumption of tea, coffee and other beverages
  • Avoid color producing food
  • Avoid smoking, pan chewing
  • Regular dental visits

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