Why Do I Have Black Stains on Teeth?

Pearly white teeth are undeniably beautiful. There’s an enormous market dedicated to whitening teeth and giving you dazzling smiles with the use of certain toothpastes or toothbrushes and the advertisements are endless.

What many ads fail to mention, though, is that white teeth are also a synonym of health which is why having stained teeth should not be taken lightly.

What Causes Black Stains on Teeth

There are two kinds of stains:

  • Intrinstic, which refer to stains that appear inside the tooth.
  • Extrinstic, which are stains that appear on the surface of the tooth.

Intrinsic stains usually appear after trauma to the tooth, as a side effect of antibiotics and medical treatment or as a symptom of fluoride overuse.

Extrinsic stains, on the other hand, can be caused by a variety of factors:

Food

What you eat has a big impact on how your teeth looks. There are certain foods and beverages that contribute to staining, such as: Coffee, berries, dark colored sauces, cola, tea and wine.

To minimize the risk of staining you can drink those beverages through a straw or swishing water after eating/drinking them.

Chlorohexadine

This is an ingredient present in certain mouthwashes, usually prescribed to treat gum disease. It’s a antimicrobial, which means it will kill bacteria, but it has been known to worsen the staining effects of certain foods.

If you’re using a prescription mouthwash consider not drinking large quantities of coffee, wine or other staining beverages.

Smoking

This is one of the most common side effects of smoking. Tobacco can penetrate the enamel of your teeth, which means it can leave deep stains on your teeth.

Iron Supplements

Prescription iron supplements can cause teeth and gum staining. Thankfully, these stains tend to be superficial which means they can be removed by your dentist.

Consider taking iron supplements through a straw, mixed with water or even with a dropper to minimize the contact with your teeth.

How Can You Remove Black Stains on Teeth?

Before doing anything about removing the stains on your teeth you should first talk to your dentist. They will know what are the best solutions for you based on your dental history.

These are some of the solutions your dentist might suggest:

Dental Veneers

This option will cover your teeth with porcelain dental veneers.

While this is an expensive procedure, veneers can give you a whole new smile as they can transform stains and crooked or chipped teeth, giving you a whole new smile.

Micro-Abrasion

This solution isn’t effective for every kind of stain and it’s usually only recommended for fluorosis caused stains.

It involves gently polishing your teeth surface to remove a thin layer of enamel, which reveals whiter and healthier looking teeth. (If the stain is extrinsict, that is)

Teeth Whitening

By far the most affordable and versatile solution. Teeth whitening can be done with laser, over-the-counter whitening kits or even specialized toothpaste.

Over-the-counter kits and toothpaste are easy to acquire but they take a while (and constant dedication) to work properly. Laser, on the other hand, will have your teeth looking whiter in an hour but you need to go through an extensive list of tests to know if laser is a viable option for you.

Unlike the other two options, intrinsic tooth stains can be removed through teeth whitening but it usually takes a lengthier, more aggressive approach.

Basotect or “Magic Eraser Gum”

Believe it or not, the magic eraser gum, which is used to remove persistent stains, can be used to remove black stains on your teeth.  

All you need to do is:

  • Break off a small piece of a new sponge. (The kind without detergents)
  • Use tweezers to hold the piece and make it wet.
  • Rub the sponge piece gently over the spots being VERY careful not to touch your gums at all.

While this is definitely an affordable DIY way of removing your teeth stains you should always consult with your dentist before attempting this.

The best thing you can do to avoid stained teeth is to prevent them, which can be done following the next tips:

  • Brush immediately after eating/drinking teeth staining food/drinks
  • Rinse your mouth if you can’t brush your teeth.
  • Use a straw to drink teeth staining drinks.
  • Go to your dentist for regular cleanings. 

You know what else you can do to keep your teeth white and healthy?

Brushing Properly

Improper brushing can also lead to black stains, which is why it’s important to learn how to do it properly. When done thoroughly, brushing your teeth takes around two minutes so be patient.

 

  • Start by cleaning the outer surfaces of your teeth with short and gentle vertical strokes. 
  • Follow by cleaning the inner surfaces of your teeth with short and gentle vertical strokes.
  • Finish by cleaning the chewing surfaces of your teeth with short and gentle circular strokes.

You should always pay extra attention to your gumline, the teeth at the very back of your mouth and the areas around any kind of restoration, such as crowns and fillings. 

Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well. 

 
 
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