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Dr. Alex
Dr. Alex, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 1609
Experience:  I am a General Dentist and founder of the American School of Dental Assisting
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What makes your teeth turn brown?

Customer Question

What makes your teeth turn brown?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 6 years ago.
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Mark Bornfeld DDS :


Teeth turn brown due to factors that can be broadly divided into two categories: extrinsic stain and intrinsic stain. Extrinsic stain results from a deposit of foreign matter on the tooth surface, such as tobacco, coffee, or tea stain; intrinsic stain is the result of changes in the color of the tooth structure itself.

Proper management of extrinsic stain involves a combination of attention to diet, refinement of oral hygiene technique, and perhaps regular professional cleanings by your dentist.

Treatment of intrinsic stain involves management of the causative factor, or cosmetic augmentation with either whitening agents or placement of dental restorations-- either porcelain veneers or crowns. In some cases, intrinsic stain is a result of tooth decay, which also must be treated to prevent structural damage to the tooth or teeth.

Your dentist can determine the specific type of stain that is affecting your teeth, and prescribe an appropriate means of management.

Mark Bornfeld DDS :

Hope this helps...

Expert:  Dr. Alex replied 6 years ago.
The easiest way to remove extrinsic stain is to use a bleaching agent. Some toothpastes advertise to be "whitening" and they will work, but it takes several months to see an effect. What I recommend is that you use a stronger bleaching agent that you can get at your dentist, or over the counter at places like Wal Mart. Crest White Strips you can get over the counter at Wal Mart, and you apply them to your teeth on a daily basis. They are impregnated with bleach that will remove the stain within a month. If you want an even quicker result, then go to your dentist and ask for whitening trays. The bleach that a dentist dispenses is stronger than the over the counter brands. Your will get a set of custom made trays that you wear for an hour a day that you inject with bleach. You should see results with these in 2 weeks or less. Finally, you can do a 1 hour whitening called ZOOM at some dentists that will give you results in an hour. The quicker the technique, the more expensive it becomes. ZOOM runs about $500, whitening trays are $300, Crest White Strips are $20-30, and toothpaste is $4. Just depends on how fast you want results!