Years of wear and tear can lead to stains that are difficult to erase. Plus, with age, the pulp inside your teeth shrinks and darker-colored dentin fills in. Regular professional cleanings can help erase minimal stains, but if that doesn’t do the trick, bleaching, crowns or veneers may be necessary. According to Encinitas, CA cosmetic dentist Gary Braunstein, DDS, there are two types of stains that can affect a tooth. An intrinsic stain—caused by tetracycline, flourosis or severe hypocalcification (deep white spots)—can be masked with crowns or veneers. An extrinsic stain, which is caused by smoking, coffee, tea, red wine or sometimes even mouthwash, can be treated with prophylaxis and, if needed, bleaching.
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