Dental Discoloration That Is Resistant To Bleaching Treatments

Dentist Blog

Dental staining caused by highly pigmented foods and beverages such as coffee, red wine, and tea can usually be treated with professional bleaching procedures and even at-home tooth whitening products. There are other causes of dental discoloration that may be more resistant to bleaching treatments. For these types of stains, you may need to make an appointment with a cosmetic dentist. Here are some causes of resistant dental discoloration and what you can do about them.


The antibiotic known as doxycycline can cause tooth discoloration when prescribed to certain children. The children who are most likely to experience dental staining from taking doxycycline are those whose teeth haven't fully developed yet.

In addition, children whose mothers have taken the antibiotic known as tetracycline during pregnancy may also be at risk for developing resistant dental discoloration. These types of stains are known as intrinsic stains, and they typically cause the teeth to look gray or brown.

Bleaching procedures do little to eliminate these types of stains, so your cosmetic dentist may recommend that you get porcelain veneers. These natural-looking "jackets" cover the front of your stained teeth so that the discoloration is no longer visible. 

Other medications that can cause deep dental stains include chlorhexidine, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, certain high blood pressure medications, and antipsychotic medications. It is important to note, that even if your medications cause dental staining, never stop taking them without the approval of your physician. 

Natural Aging Process

Another cause of dental discoloration is the natural aging process. While decades of smoking and coffee and tea consumption can stain the teeth, the main cause of age-related tooth staining is enamel erosion.

This condition refers to weak or worn dental enamel. When your enamel wears away, it exposes your dentin, which is naturally yellow in color. In addition to increased dentin exposure, aging causes the teeth to become more translucent, which makes them appear darker.

Laser whitening and in-home whitening strips are not effective in lightening discolored teeth caused by dentin exposure or translucency. In addition to resin or porcelain veneers, the appearance of dentin-exposed teeth can be improved with bonding. Your cosmetic dentist will need to examine your teeth and determine which types of stains you have before he or she can recommend an effective treatment plan. 

To learn more about treatment options for hard-to-treat dental stains, you can make an appointment with a cosmetic dentist for a comprehensive examination.


26 August 2019