Stains That Cannot Be Corrected with Whitening

june 15, 2021

Most people adore having a camera-ready smile, which is why teeth whitening in Torrance is a popular cosmetic dentistry treatment. Unfortunately, this solution may not work for every kind of stain. If you’re considering whitening your teeth for whatever reason, you’ll want to know what type of discoloration you have to avoid disappointing results.

Patient needs treatment for teeth whitening in torrance

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Tooth Staining 

The two main types of staining are intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic staining only affects the tooth’s surface and is commonly caused by tobacco and staining foods or beverages. Whitening treatments can correct discoloration due to extrinsic staining. 

Intrinsic staining occurs under the enamel and is more resistant to whitening treatments. If you have this sort of discoloration, your teeth may appear grayish or even black. 

What Causes Intrinsic Staining? 

Intrinsic tooth discoloration can result from chemical or physical changes to your teeth. Learning the exact cause of these types of stains can help dental professionals determine the ideal approach for treatment. Intrinsic dental stains can happen due to many reasons, including: 

Damage or Trauma to the Tooth 

Damage to the tooth can leave it permanently discolored due to internal bleeding. When a tooth darkens after an injury, it could indicate that the nerves in the tooth’s pulp have died. If a child damages their tooth from a fall, it may disrupt enamel formation and lead to permanent discoloration as their teeth are still developing. 

Too Much Fluoride 

Fluoride may be excellent in providing healthy, strong teeth, but as the saying goes, too much of a good thing can ultimately be harmful. Overexposure to fluoride can cause lacy white markings on your teeth that only a dentist can detect. It particularly affects children during the first eight years of their life when most of their permanent teeth are forming. 

Stains from Tooth Decay 

Tooth decay can occur when you have poor dental hygiene. Not removing plaque and other stain-producing substances can discolor your teeth. These types of stains may be resistant to whitening treatments as they attack the enamel and can lead to holes in your teeth (cavities). 

Certain Medication 

Some side effects of certain medications may cause tooth discoloration. For example, certain antibiotics can cause the structures of your teeth to stain over time. Tetracycline particularly has been linked to permanent tooth discoloration. 


As you age, it’s normal for your teeth to become more yellow in appearance as your enamel wears away. When this happens, your dentin becomes more visible, and the interior structure of your tooth thins. 

Cosmetic Treatments for Intrinsic Staining 

Since teeth whitening cannot correct intrinsic tooth discoloration, you will need to find a different approach. Fortunately, many other cosmetic dental options are available to give you the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted. If you have extrinsic staining on your teeth, the following treatments are more suitable for brightening your teeth: 

  • Dental bonding 
  • Veneers 
  • Crowns or bridges 

Of course, if you have intrinsic tooth discoloration due to a disease or decay, treating that should take precedence over getting a cosmetic dental treatment. This will ensure better and longer-lasting results. 

Woman after teeth whitening in torrance

Are You Interested in Learning More About Teeth Whitening in Torrance? 

If you’re tired of having a dull smile, the team at Sachi & Co. Dentistry is here to help. We have options to treat certain dental stains, leaving you with pearly whites you’ll be proud to flaunt. Give us a call today if you have any questions!