Posted on November 23, 2009 by Dr. White
What is Intrinsic Tooth Staining?
Intrinsic tooth staining can either happen before tooth development or after tooth development. This staining is quite common and manifests in the form of enamel discoloration and reddish appearance in outer part of tooth.
Of course tooth staining can be a result of consuming dark food and beverages like soda, coffee, red wine, acai berries, blueberries, and chocolate. There are many other natural reason teeth can becomes stained as well.
Staining During Tooth Development
This staining occurs during the initial development of the teeth.
The main cause of this discoloration is attributed to the extra intake of fluoride during tooth development or intake of tetracycline medication, which also can cause discoloration of tooth. The antibiotics present in tetracycline medicine can react with the calcium hydroxyapatite crystals present in the enamel and cause damage to enamel, thus adding stain.
In some cases, enamel has high porosity or has defects, thus allowing extrinsic stains to penetrate the enamel. This also leads to tooth losing its color and acquiring stains.
Some of the defects associated with tooth enamel are:
- Enamel Hypoplasia
- Hypo Calcification
- Loss of Enamel
Loss of enamel exposes the dentin and thus chromagens can penetrate by the tubule system into dentin directly, thus causing loss of color.
Staining After Tooth Development
This form of discoloring occurs after the tooth is fully developed and can arise due to various reasons including, but not limited to, damage to the tooth. The internal hemorrhage caused in the of the dental pulp makes blood enter in the tubules of the enamel, thus adding visible red stains on the enamel.
Several post dental treatment effects can also cause stains, like the dental pulp chamber getting closed after a root canal treatment performed.
Other Causes of Tooth Stains
See also an earlier post that answers the question: What causes tooth staining?
Tooth gradually gets worn out due to friction, abrasion, erosion, thus making the enamel and dentine gradually wear away. An exposed dentin gradually allows penetration of chromagens into the body of tooth and this leads to loosening of white color.
Sometimes cracks developed in the enamel or dentin can also allow extrinsic stains getting penetrated and high concentration of chromagens accumulation in the tooth, leading to tooth staining.
Some of the chemical substances used in restorative dentistry can also cause tooth staining.
Root canal treatment uses eugenol and phenolic compounds which contain certain pigments which can stain the enamel. Root canal treatment also uses polyantibiotic pastes which can cause darkening of the root dentin. In such cases, these dark stains can vary from dark gray to black, and can be initially spotted by microscope.
Early Protection and Knowledge is Key
A good knowledge of the causes that can add stains to your tooth is vital and if early precautions are taken, such stains can be avoided. It is advisable to visit your dentist often and use recommended toothpastes for greater protection of your teeth.
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