Dental Stains And How Dental Whitening Works To Remove Them

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Dental Stains And How Dental Whitening Works To Remove Them

Dental Stains And How Dental Whitening Works To Remove Them

28 August 2023
Dentist, Blog

If you are looking for a way to improve your smile, you may have considered teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that can make your teeth look brighter and whiter by removing stains and discoloration.

You can whiten your teeth at home with over-the-counter products or at the dentist's office with professional treatments. Here is a bit of information about dental stains and how dental whitening works.

What Causes Stained Teeth?

Dental stains can be classified into two types: intrinsic and extrinsic. Here is some information about each type.


Intrinsic staining affects the interior layers of the teeth, including the dentin. These stains can be caused by multiple issues, such as:

  • Aging
  • Side effects from medications
  • Genetic conditions
  • Dental trauma
  • Excessive exposure to fluoride

Intrinsic stains are usually yellow or brown and are difficult or impossible to fully remove. Thus, your dentist may suggest cosmetic treatments that hide the discoloration, such as dental crowns or veneers.


Extrinsic staining affects the outermost layer of the tooth, which is called the enamel. These stains result from exposing the teeth to external factors, such as:

  • Deeply hued foods
  • Dark drinks
  • Tobacco

Poor oral hygiene can encourage extrinsic staining. These stains are usually dark or colorful and can be removed more easily with chemical whitening applications.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening works by using chemicals that break down the stains on the teeth and make them appear lighter in color. The most common chemicals used for teeth whitening are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, which are both oxidizing agents that can penetrate the tooth material.

There are different methods of applying these chemicals to the teeth, depending on whether you choose to whiten your teeth at home or the dentist's office.

At-home Whitening

At-home teeth whitening products include whitening toothpaste, mouthwashes, strips, trays, gels, and pens. These products usually contain a lower concentration of peroxide and require multiple applications over days or weeks to achieve noticeable results. Some of these products may also contain other ingredients such as abrasives, enzymes, or blue Covarine to enhance their whitening effect.

Professional Whitening

Professional teeth whitening treatments include in-office bleaching procedures and dentist-supplied products for use at home. These treatments usually contain a higher concentration of peroxide and require fewer applications to achieve faster and more dramatic results. Some of these treatments may also involve the use of heat, light, or lasers to activate or accelerate the whitening process.

If you would like to try teeth whitening treatment, contact a dentist in your local area.

About Me
Got Tooth Decay? Finding Dental Care Tips Right For You

When it comes to my dental care, I only use the best toothbrushes, toothpastes and flosses. But sometimes, even after being vigilant and careful with my oral care, I experience problems like toothaches. Last year, I developed a small cavity in one of my back teeth. I didn't want to bother my dentist about it, so I simply took pain medications and hoped for the best. But after my jaw began to swell up, I sought professional dental help. My small cavity was actually a large hole filled with infection. I ended up having an extraction. Now, I visit my dentist as often as I can, because I can't afford to lose anymore teeth. I want to share my experiences with other people, so I created this blog. I offer tips on how to keep your teeth healthy and when to see a dentist. Thanks for visiting.