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3 Common Causes Of Teeth Discoloration And How Professional Teeth Whitening Solutions Can Restore The Whiteness Of Your Teeth

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Everyone loves a dazzling, perfectly white smile. However, it can be hard over time to keep your teeth as white as they once were. Smoking, drinking coffee, and eating certain foods can stain your teeth yellow and produce an unappealing smile. Brushing and flossing can only do so much and will most likely not get those pesky stains off of your teeth; you will probably require advanced whitening solutions only offered by your dentist. 

This article discusses what common foods and other factors contribute to yellow teeth as well as how professional teeth whitening solutions work.

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How Does Teeth Whitening Work To Fix Tooth Discoloration? 

Tooth whitening refers to the process of making your teeth appear whiter using bleaching or non-bleaching products. 

Oftentimes, the terms “bleaching'' and “whitening” are used interchangeably. However, “bleaching” can only be used if the product contains peroxide (hydrogen or carbamide peroxide) and removes both surface and deep stains on the teeth. Bleaching products you can get from the dentist are much more concentrated than those purchased over-the-counter. For example, store-bought hydrogen peroxide bleaching solutions are only rated at 7% whereas your dentist will use a hydrogen peroxide concentration of 35%-45%. The bleach works to break down stains into smaller pieces, dissipating the tarnished teeth' colour and revealing a brighter smile.

How Do Teeth Become Discolored?

Extrinsic Discoloration

Extrinsic discoloration is when the stains only affect tooth enamel and the surface of the tooth. This is commonly caused by coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco. Food and beverages contain colour pigments called chromogens that bind to the enamel of your teeth, which causes discoloration. Tobacco is also colourless until mixed with oxygen, which turns it into a yellow, surface-staining substance. 

Extrinsic discoloration is commonly corrected by teeth-whitening toothpaste and other at-home solutions such as teeth whitening strips.

Intrinsic Discoloration

Intrinsic discoloration comes from within the tooth. Usually, these stains affect the inner, softer layer of tissue, called Dentin. This can be caused by:

  • Overexposure to fluoride
  • The use of certain medications such as tetracycline antibiotics
  • Natural discoloration to dentin as you age.

Intrinsic discoloration can respond well to take-home or in-chair whitening, but when stains are stubborn, teeth can be brought back to their natural white colour with the placement of Veneers or Crowns.


If you have experienced an injury to your mouth or a specific tooth, you may notice discoloration. When there is a severe enough injury to the tooth, it will react by laying down more dentin, which is often darker in colour. Internal bleeding can also occur in your teeth and will over time cause discoloration if not treated right away. Teeth whitening can help resolve the discoloration of the damaged tooth. However, if the damage is too extensive, you may require other dental treatments to combat the discoloration, such as dental crowns or implants.

Contact Us Today For Your Teeth Whitening Needs!

Cosmetic dentistry is very popular nowadays. Many people are concerned with the look of their smile as well as how white and shiny their teeth are. Pearly white teeth used to only be seen on famous movie stars, but getting the same results at an affordable price is now achievable for most people. Professional teeth-whitening solutions offer a quick and painless process to get rid of any stains and to give you the confidence to smile again.

At Dr. Jackie Korol Dental, we offer complimentary cosmetic dentistry consultations for all of our Calgary patients. Together, we can create a teeth-whitening plan that suits your needs and budget. To learn more about our teeth-whitening procedure, contact us by calling (403) 245-9099 or by filling out our online contact form.


How long does the teeth whitening process take?
Depending on the dental clinic, the process on average should take one hour.

How long do teeth whitening results last?
Results can be expected to last anywhere from 2-3 years if your oral health is well-taken care of. This includes regular brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings.

Do teeth whitening solutions make your teeth sensitive?
Usually, tooth sensitivity from the treatment will go away after a few days. Sensitivity is most noticeable on the day of the treatment. If you experience prolonged or severe tooth sensitivity following your appointment, contact your dentist right away.


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