Is Your Teeth Staining Extrinsic or Intrinsic?

Teeth whitening in London is an extremely popular cosmetic dental treatment, and when done properly, for example by an expert dentist such as Dr. Chan at the Smile Studio, the results can be astounding. Chair side teeth whitening in a dental surgery can lighten teeth by several shades within just an hour, while choosing to lighten teeth with custom-made trays or Dr Chan’s award-winning Get2Smile will produce similar results within a couple of weeks.

It doesn’t matter which methods you are considering using, as the really important thing is to get expert advice before using any type of whitening products. This is because teeth can be stained for a variety of different reasons, and the staining can be extrinsic or intrinsic. The type of staining greatly affects the efficacy of teeth bleaching. Most people will have extrinsic staining, that is staining that’s on the surface of the tooth, but some people will have teeth that are intrinsically or internally stained, and these may not respond so well to external bleaching methods. This is something Dr Wyman Chan will be able to tell you during your initial examination and check up.

What Causes Intrinsic Staining?

Intrinsic staining can be caused by pigment within the dentine or enamel, and it can either occur before the teeth have erupted, or afterwards. Sometimes intrinsic staining occurs while the tooth is still developing, and one of the most common reasons is fluorosis. This is where a child is exposed to excessive amounts of fluoride from their teeth are still developing, and can occur anywhere up to the age of eight. The enamel can also become stained due to hypocalcification, something that can occur during the development of the teeth.

Another common reason is exposure to antibiotics such as tetracycline. The reason for this is due to the way the antibiotic interacts with the tooth enamel, as it causes changes within the calcium hydroxyapatite crystals that make up the enamel.

After a tooth has erupted it may become intrinsically stained due to trauma. Trauma can damage the dental pulp in the centre of the tooth and cause it to hemorrhage. This process can allow blood to enter in to the tiny tubules in the dentine, causing staining. Intrinsic staining can also occur if the root canal therapy has resulted in the pulp chamber being improperly cleaned out.

Sometimes the tooth can appear stained due to developmental defects that cause changes to its basic colour. It could also be that extrinsic strains have been able to penetrate deep into the tooth due to increased porosity of the enamel, or due to other enamel defects. Sometimes stains can penetrate deeply into the dentine due to the loss of enamel.

Treating Intrinsic Strains

If you do have teeth that are intrinsically stained then Dr. Chan may recommend a different course of treatment other than standard tooth whitening in London. It does depend on the type of staining, and the extent. People with mild fluorosis may well be happy with the effects created by normal teeth bleaching methods, and sometimes tooth whitening can be used to help modify tetracycline stains. However some people will find normal bleaching doesn’t produce the kind of results they’d like, and may need to think about masking the colour in another way, for example through using veneers or bonding.

Internal Teeth Whitening in London

Teeth that have been damaged, or which have been root treated may need to be bleached internally. This is where a dentist will place bleaching agents directly in the centre of the tooth, to bleach it from the inside out.

The important thing to remember is that something can always be done to whiten teeth, even if you have to opt for a method that is a little different from normal teeth whitening in London.