Stains on your teeth?

Patients often present to us with concerns about stains on their teeth, so we thought we would write a quick mini guide to teeth/tooth staining. We hope it helps.

This is a very simple guide and if you do have any concerns about any particular stains on your teeth you should make an appointment with your dentist to come and have them looked at. 

We've divided tooth/teeth stains into external (stains from external sources) and internal (stains that are inside the tooth or from internal sources)

External Factors causing tooth discolouration

  •  Brown and Black stains on the surface of the teeth


Cause – These are the most common types of stains. Causes include regularly drinking tea, coffee, smoking and food colours being absorbed on the surface of the teeth.

Treatment – We can use a scaler to remove stains along with dental pumice and prophylaxis paste to smoothen the surfaces of the teeth. Whitening your teeth will also help to remove these stains.

Prevention – Avoid drinking dark coloured beverages such as tea, coffee and red wines. Avoid smoking.


  • Orange and green stains


 Cause – Build up of dental plaque containing bacteria and fungi due to ineffective brushing.

 Treatment – A simple Scale and polish to remove calculus (Hardened dental plaque).

Prevention – Good oral hygiene, brushing twice daily morning and night, and regular flossing in between the teeth.


Internal factors causing tooth discolouration


  • Developmental stains often Opaque white, Greyish-blue to brownish-yellow


Cause - During the development of the teeth, abnormal mineralisation or formation of the tooth/teeth, sickness, or certain antibiotics  can cause the discolouration and staining of the developing tooth/teeth germs. These stains will usually be present as soon as the tooth/teeth erupts into the mouth. 

 Treatment - Treatment of these stains is more complex that treating external stains, Treatment can include Acid -Pummice treatment (removing a very thin layer of surface enamel of the affected teeth with strong acid and rough pummice,) ,Teeth Whitening, White fillings or even Veneers and Crowns.


  •   Greyish/Black Teeth


Cause – tooth decay

Treatment – The dentist can remove the decay and then put white fillings to replace the lost tooth tissue . Early decay can be treated with topical fluoride varnishes.


  • One Single Darkened Tooth


Cause – This can occur when a tooth nerve dies - often after some sort of trauma or decay to the tooth. We call it Pulp necrosis. Sometimes the tooth can go dark as a result.

Treatment – Root canal treatment must be done to treat the dead tooth. Then Bleaching, veneers or crowns can follow this to improve the appearance of the tooth.

Remember, Please make an appointment to see your dentist if you have any concerns about staining and We will be glad to help.