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  • Writer's pictureLaurenWallace

How to Get Rid of Dark Stains on Teeth

A discolored smile is rarely a welcome sight, and often a sign of an underlying medical condition. If your teeth appear dark, are spotted with stains, and have taken on a muddy-like hue, it’s crucial to schedule a visit with your dentist. Causes of dark Stains on Teeth Dark stains on teeth can be the result of either extrinsic (outer) or intrinsic (inner) causes.

  • Extrinsic causes include foods or beverages that stain, tartar buildup, tobacco use, trauma or damage to the enamel, or a side effect of certain topical medications

  • Intrinsic causes are decay, cavities, trauma, certain medications, and infection of the root or pulp (innermost layer of the tooth)

Symptoms of Dark Teeth If dark staining is caused by decay or infection, the discoloration will often begin on the inside of the tooth, eventually spreading to the surface. If left untreated, the damage will cover the entire tooth. In cases of tartar buildup, dark spots and discoloration become more noticeable as bacteria eats away at the enamel. This weakens the tooth and allows for additional dark buildup to form. Removing Dark Stains on Teeth In most cases, only your dentist or dental hygienist can safely and effectively remove dark stains from teeth.

  • Dark stains as a result of decay or cavity: Your dentist will remove the decayed material and restore it with a filling. For more intense cavities, a crown may be fitted over your tooth.

  • Dark stains from infection: If an infection spreads to the pulp, a root canal is your only option. A crown is then fitted over your tooth to fix your smile.

  • Dark stains from tartar buildup, food, beverages, and smoking: If plaque is not removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar which stains quite easily. Only your dentist or hygienist can remove the tartar without damaging your tooth and enamel. If you’re prone to tartar formation, try regularly brushing with a specialized toothpaste such as Crest Tartar Protection or Crest 3D White Brilliance.

Over time, the part of your tooth below the enamel’s surface, called dentin, can get discolored. For an enamel-safe whitening solution, try Crest 3D Whitestrips + Blue Light. The at-home whitening kit safely whitens below the enamel surface for a whiter smile with fast, noticeable results. It is not normal for teeth to turn dark, so be sure to see your dental professional right away to identify the cause and proper treatment. Preventing Dark Stains on Teeth Dark stains caused by superficial staining, tartar, infection, and decay can be avoided if proper oral care is maintained.

  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes each time

  • Use a fluoride toothpaste when brushing to effectively remove plaque and fight decay

  • Floss at least once a day to remove plaque in between teeth

  • Swish with a whitening rinse containing fluoride that aids with cavity prevention

  • Keep up with your regular dental appointments



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