A big, happy smile can light up a room. Sadly, many people suffer from discolored teeth. They don’t feel confident enough to flash a big grin. Obviously, better attendance to good dental hygiene can brighten up smiles. However, many people take excellent care of their dental hygiene and still don’t enjoy white teeth. Here’s the good news! At Bunker Hill Dentistry in Houston, we understand that the causes of and treatments for discolored teeth vary between individuals. At our dental practice, we will start by discussing your concerns and diagnosing the source of your stained teeth. Then we can recommend customized treatments to make your teeth look their best. What Causes Stained Teeth? Different causes of off-colored teeth may produce various types of discoloration and require different treatments. The three primary reasons for discoloration of teeth include: Extrinsic: Extrinsic refers to stains that affect the outer surface, or enamel, of the teeth.Intrinsic: The source of discoloration stems from inside the tooth. For instance, tooth decay, trauma or injury, and even genetics.Aging: Both extrinsic and intrinsic factors are more likely to cause discoloration as we age. Sometimes, you can estimate the cause of tooth discoloration from the color of the teeth or stains. According to WebMD: Yellow stains: As people age and their tooth’s enamel begins to wear, the yellowish surface of the dentin underneath becomes visible.Brown stains: Stains from tobacco, wine, coffee, or tea may cause dark stains, especially when combined with inadequate dental hygiene.White stains: Teeth aren’t naturally as pearly white as those of the models for toothpaste. Excess fluoride may cause white stains to appear. In turn, these white stains make natural teeth look darker.Black stains: Sometimes, people only realize they have a cavity because of a dark spot on their teeth. Overexposure to certain metals or food substances may also cause black stains on teeth. Should You See a Dentist to Treat Discolored Teeth? According to NPR, companies sell billions of dollars worth of over-the-counter teeth whitening products yearly. If people choose to buy one of these products, they should understand they only treat some issues and may not work for everyone. For instance, whitening strips or paste won’t fix a dark spot caused by a cavity. In some cases, they can worsen dental problems. In addition, some people experience sensitivity or gum inflammation after using these products. You should consider speaking to your dentist to find out if these products will help you. People who haven’t enjoyed success with OTC teeth whitening or would prefer a safer and quicker option can consult with us here at Bunker Hill Dentistry in Houston to learn the exact causes of their issue and discuss effective treatments. Treatment Options for Stained Teeth If an oral health issue, like a cavity, caused the stain, our dentist will remedy the problem by treating the deeper issue. Otherwise, we may suggest these treatments: Teeth Whitening Some patients choose over-the-counter treatments. However, the local drug or grocery store kits don’t work quickly and may not offer an effective solution for everybody. Sometimes, they cause pain, aggravate undiagnosed oral health issues, or strip precious enamel. Before using OTC teeth whitening products, we encourage patients to visit the office for a checkup and consultation. Sometimes, we may suggest a commercial product. However, we also offer affordable and effective professional teeth whitening solutions.These include: In-office teeth whitening: Patients enjoy professional teeth-whitening in a relaxed environment. The dentist uses safe, painless, and effective products that can even improve deep stains on teeth.Take-home treatments: Patients also have the option to complement in-office treatment with a professional version of an at-home kit that a dentist prepares. Options might include professional-grade whitening strips or trays. Learn more about how we whiten teeth at Bunker Hill Dentistry. Dental Bonding Even professional teeth whitening may not remove deep stains or those caused by internal factors. Dental bonding offers an effective treatment to cover discoloration that typical teeth whitening products cannot remove. Plus, unlike teeth whitening, this procedure can also cover cracks, gaps, or chips and fill small, visible cavities. The painless procedure does not require anesthesia, and the results look natural. Typically, dental insurance won’t pay for cosmetic teeth whitening, but dental plans may sometimes cover dental bonding. Most patients find dental bonding an affordable, rapid solution when compared to other options. Read why Bunker Hill Dentistry has special expertise in dental bonding. Dental Veneers Porcelain veneers offer a long-lasting solution that can correct various dental issues, from deep-dark stains to misaligned or chipped teeth. Our dentist will create a model of your teeth and undergo prep work before bonding the lightweight, durable, and stain-resistant veneer over your teeth. At first glance, this solution may appear more expensive than other options. However, veneers can last for decades. In contrast, most patients will need to repeat teeth whitening once or twice a year. Dental bonding can also stain in time without proper care. Your own best choice for removing teeth stains may depend upon the nature of your whitening issue, your preferences, and your budget. See why you should get veneers at Bunker Hill Dentistry. Why Bunker Hill Dentistry? Dr. Le and his wife and office manager Ann Le Specialists – Our team–led by Dr. Le-is experienced in using multiple treatment options to make your teeth white again. Serene setting – Our office is designed to provide a calm, relaxing environment to help put your mind at ease during treatment. Take a tour. Client satisfaction – We have one mission – total client satisfaction. “Care, Comfort, Convenience”is our guarantee to every client. More about Bunker Hill Dentistry. Reception room at Bunker Hill Dentistry State of the art – We utilize other advanced technology such as the i-CAT 3D x-ray machine, All-On-4® implants and an anesthesia-delivery wand, for faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment. Conveniently located – Located in Memorial, just a short drive from Houston’s city center. Find us on the map. Treating Dental Restoration Stains Dental restorations include veneers, bonding, dentures, crowns, and implants. Restorative dentistry work doesn’t tend to stain as easily as natural teeth. In addition, these products are not subject to some sources of staining, like medication or aging. At the same time, some patients experience discoloration of their restorative work. Ordinary teeth whitening products won’t work effectively either. For instance, porcelain veneers should never stain because the material isn’t porous at all. At the same time, older veneers might appear stained because of receding gums or damage to the surfaces of the veneer. Our dentist can offer solutions, including using precision tools to clean discolored areas or replacing the restoration work. Preventing Tooth Discoloration People can’t prevent all tooth discoloration on their own. Some factors, even medications that your mother took before you were born, could impact the color of your natural teeth. However, these steps can prevent many kinds of stains: Follow a healthy oral care regimen of brushing at least twice per day (but not within 30 minutes after eating, to give your saliva time to rejuvenate your enamel) and flossing at least once.Consider switching from a manual to an electric toothbrush.Antibacterial mouthwash can also help improve dental hygiene and reduce the risk of staining. Whitening toothpaste may also help maintain a good appearance between dental cleanings.Use a straw to sip colas, coffee, or tea. This practice helps the liquid bypass teeth, making them less likely to cause discoloration.Keep regular dental appointments for checkups and professional cleaning. Read our Caring for Teeth Guide to protect the health of your teeth, prevent costly repairs and procedures, and keep your smile looking amazing. Regular visits to your dentist will offer one of the best ways to improve your mouth’s appearance and overall good dental health. Contact Bunker Hill Dentistry in Houston to discuss solutions to your dental concerns. Schedule An Appointment Not been to Bunker Hill Dentistry before? To help you prepare for your first visit, read our new patient information page.