4 Causes of Intrinsic Dental Stains

Posted on: 16 November 2017


In some cases, you can decide to clean your teeth without seeking the assistance of a dentist. However, the results might not be what you expected. This arises because the results often depend on the type of stains on the teeth. Below are some of the causes of one type of dental stain (intrinsic stains). Use this information to set realistic goals for your planned teeth whitening efforts after talking to your family dentist.

Excessive fluoride

Intrinsic dental stains refer to those stains that form within your teeth (as opposed to on the surface) as your teeth are developing or after they have formed. One of the biggest causes of this type of staining is the absorption of high levels of fluoride from different substances, such as water and toothpaste. The fluoride can cause the enamel to look chalky and white. However, fluoride causes the teeth of some people to become brown.


You can also develop intrinsic dental stains when you use medications, such as antibiotics, while your teeth are developing. The portion of your teeth that is still forming will look bluish-grey while the parts that were already formed will have a normal colour or hue. The extent of the shade will depend on the specific medication you are taking and the duration of dosage.


Teeth that have already developed can become stained intrinsically if you are involved in an accident. The stains on your teeth originate from the blood that floods into your dental tubules (the tiny channels within your dentin) as an inflammatory response to the trauma of the accident. Even though the blood will eventually be drained from the tubules, the stains will remain.


Age can also play a role in the development of intrinsic dental stains. As you grow older, you will lose some of the enamel on their teeth. Enamel loss causes dentin to come closer to the surface of the teeth. Since dentin is darker than enamel, your teeth will appear stained.

Successful teeth whitening depends on an accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause of the staining. It may, therefore, be futile for you to attempt to whiten your teeth on your own since you may not have the skills needed to identify the cause of that staining. Talk to your family dentist so that they can examine your teeth. As a professional, they will recommend an appropriate way to whiten your teeth once the type and cause of the stains are identified.