When teeth become stained, the stains most often develop on the surfaces of the teeth’s outer enamel. These common types of teeth stains can often be erased quickly and effectively with professional teeth-whitening, which works to break up the stains on the surfaces of your teeth and brighten their structures underneath. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Not all types of teeth stains and discoloration are the same, and sometimes, teeth-whitening may not be enough to improve the appearance of one or more discolored teeth.

Discoloration underneath your tooth enamel

The enamel that surrounds and protects your teeth is a highly resilient, but semi-translucent, layer of minerals. When stains develop on the outer surface of your tooth enamel, breaking them up and removing them with teeth-whitening is often simple. However, when discoloration affects your tooth structure underneath the enamel, the staining can seem as though it’s on the surface of your tooth due to the semi-translucence of your tooth enamel. Yet, teeth-whitening is a topical treatment, and the solution won’t be able to reach the part of your tooth structure that’s discolored. Also, in some cases, the discoloration may be the result of something that requires more direct restorative treatment to save the tooth.

The staining caused by certain medications

There are several different potential reasons for teeth to become discolored within their main structures. For example, some types of medications, such as certain antibiotics, can cause the structures of your teeth to stain over time, or as you grow older. The discoloration may not indicate any serious threat to the health and integrity of your teeth. However, because it occurs in the tooth’s main structure instead of on its surface, improving your smile’s appearance may require treatment such as tooth-colored bonding or custom porcelain veneers.

Changes in tooth color due to damage or decay

If your tooth become discolored as a side effect of certain medications, then improving their appearance may be the only concern. Yet, there are some instances in which discoloration in a tooth is just one symptom of a more serious condition, such as internal damage or decay within the tooth. This can result in continued erosion and/or damage to your healthy, natural tooth structure, and the goal of your treatment will be to save and restore the tooth as well as improve its appearance.

Learn how to address more serious teeth stains

If your teeth are discolored in a way that can’t be corrected with teeth-whitening, then we can customize a more appropriate treatment plan to improve or restore them. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Silver Smiles in Silver City, NM, today at (575) 534-3699.