Understanding The Types of
Teeth Stains and Teeth Whitening

Beyond Surface Stains: When Discoloration Runs Deep

Tooth Whitening Simply Gives You a More Vibrant Smile – Dr. Kenneth Nash

About Teeth Whitening Options

At Nash Family Dentistry in Vicksburg, MS, we understand how frustrating dental stains can be. Whether it’s discoloration from food, drinks, smoking, or simply the natural aging process, stained teeth can damper your smile. That’s why our experienced dental team wants to educate patients about the different types of stains and what can be done to prevent and treat them. While some stains are external and can be removed with professional cleanings and whitening treatments, others penetrate deeper into the tooth enamel and dentin layer requiring more intensive treatment options, including tooth bleaching.

Getting the Right Whitening Treatment for Your Natural Teeth

Teeth stains are a common dental issue that affects people of all ages. They can make your teeth look yellow or discolored, which can affect your confidence and self-esteem. There are several types of teeth stains, and your treatment options will depend on the type of stains your teeth present.

At Nash Family Dentistry, our Vicksburg, MS dentist provides cosmetic dentistry services like professional teeth whitening so you can achieve the stunning, bright smile you desire. Discover how our dentist can help tackle teeth stains with professional teeth whitening. Selecting the right whitening procedure is crucial for effective results.

Extrinsic Teeth Stains

Extrinsic stains are the most common type of teeth stains, and they occur on the surface of the teeth. These stains are caused by external factors, such as:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Drinking coffee, tea, or red wine
  • Consuming foods with strong pigments, like berries, tomato sauce, or soy sauce.
  • Using whitening toothpastes, which contain peroxide to help remove these surface stains effectively.


Fortunately, extrinsic stains are easier to remove since they don’t penetrate the tooth’s enamel. Extrinsic teeth stains can be removed through professional teeth cleaning or teeth whitening treatments, such as in-office whitening.

In-office teeth whitening is generally the best professional treatment option. In-office whitening involves a dental professional applying a strong bleaching agent to the teeth and using a special light to activate the whitening process. This method can effectively remove surface stains caused by external factors such as coffee, tea, and tobacco use.

An in-office whitening treatment may not be suitable for individuals with sensitive teeth. Your dental professional will advise you on the best treatment option for your specific needs.

Intrinsic Teeth Stains

Intrinsic stains occur inside the tooth, and they’re caused by internal factors, such as:

  • Genetics
  • Medications
  • Trauma
  • Excessive fluoride

Treatments for intrinsic stains often contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to effectively penetrate and whiten teeth from within.


Intrinsic stains are more challenging to remove since they’re embedded deep within the tooth enamel. Intrinsic teeth stains require professional teeth whitening treatments, such as in-office whitening, custom-made at-home whitening kits, or porcelain veneers. A dentist may also recommend microabrasion or bonding, depending on the severity of the stain.

Consult with our dentist to determine the best treatment option for you if you struggle with intrinsic tooth stains.

Age-Related Teeth Stains

Age-related tooth stains occur naturally as we age. As we get older, the outer layer of enamel on our teeth becomes thinner, revealing the yellow dentin beneath the tooth surface. Over time, teeth become more porous and can more easily absorb pigments from foods, drinks, and tobacco.

Treatment for Sensitive Teeth Stains

Mild to moderate age-related teeth stains can be treated with professional teeth whitening treatments, such as in-office whitening, custom at-home whitening kits, or over-the-counter whitening products like whitening toothpaste or strips.

For severe cases, we can treat them with dental bonding or porcelain veneers. It’s important to consult with your dentist to determine the best treatment option for your specific needs. They can assess the condition of your teeth and recommend the most appropriate treatment to help you achieve a brighter, more youthful-looking smile.

Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments for All Types of Teeth Stains

When selecting teeth whitening treatments, it’s crucial to choose those recognized or meeting the guidelines set by the American Dental Association (ADA) for safety and effectiveness. Professional teeth whitening treatments are the most effective way to remove all types of teeth stains. Depending on the type of teeth stain you have, our dentists may recommend one of the following teeth whitening treatments:

  • In-Office Whitening: In-office whitening is a procedure performed by a dentist. It involves applying a strong bleaching agent to the teeth and using a special light to activate the whitening process. In-office whitening is best for severe extrinsic and intrinsic tooth stains.
  • At-Home Whitening Kits: At-home whitening kits include custom-made trays filled with a whitening gel and worn for a specific amount of time each day. At-home whitening kits are best for mild to moderate extrinsic and intrinsic tooth stains.
  • Porcelain Veneers: Porcelain veneers are custom-made shells placed over the teeth to improve their appearance. They’re best for severe intrinsic teeth stains that can’t be treated with other teeth whitening methods.
  • Microabrasion: Microabrasion is a technique used to remove surface stains from teeth. It involves using mild acid to remove the outer layer of enamel and then polishing the teeth to improve their appearance. Microabrasion is best for mild to moderate extrinsic teeth stains.
  • Bonding: Bonding is a technique used to cover teeth with a tooth-colored resin material to improve their appearance. Bonding is best for mild to moderate intrinsic teeth stains.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can teeth stains be prevented

Yes, teeth stains can be prevented with proper oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and avoiding foods and beverages that are known to cause stains, such as coffee, tea, and red wine. Regular dental cleanings can also help remove surface stains before they become more embedded in the enamel.

Can over-the-counter whitening toothpaste remove extrinsic stains?

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products, such as whitening toothpaste or strips, can help to remove mild extrinsic stains. However, they aren’t as effective as professional teeth whitening treatments and may take longer to achieve desired results.

Can everyone undergo teeth whitening treatment?

Not everyone is a candidate for teeth whitening treatment. Individuals with gum disease, tooth decay, or sensitive teeth may not be suitable candidates. Consult with a dental professional before undergoing any teeth whitening treatment.

Cardell talking about his teeth whitening results

Unlock Your Whitest Smile Yet at Nash Family Dentistry

If you’re struggling with teeth stains, it’s important to consult with a dental professional to determine the best treatment option for your specific needs. Contact our Vicksburg, MS dentists today at (601) 738-9313 to schedule a consultation and achieve a brighter, more confident smile.