307 Grafton St #203, Shrewsbury, MA 01545

FAQs: The Types of Teeth Stains & Treatment

Teeth stains are an inevitable part of everyday life, especially if you indulge in some not-so-healthy food and beverages. Your morning cup of coffee, that glass of red wine at dinner, the piece of candy you ate for dessert — these items all cause external tooth stains. The good news? Many tooth stains can be removed to restore the brightness and whiteness of your smile. The bad news? Not all stains are on the surface. Teeth can develop stains from the inside too, and these are harder to treat for your cosmetic dentist.

What are the Types of Tooth Stains?

There are two types of tooth stains:

Extrinsic stains: Extrinsic stains are stains on the exterior of the tooth. When the tooth enamel, the tooth’s outermost protective layer, becomes stained, these stains are extrinsic stains. Colored residue from food or drinks is left behind and builds up in the film of protein covering the enamel.

Intrinsic stains: Unlike extrinsic stains, intrinsic stains develop from the inside of the tooth. The stain is on the interior of the tooth rather than the exterior. Certain medications or the excessive use of fluoride, particular during childhood, can cause intrinsic stains.

How Can Surface Stains Be Removed?

Extrinsic stains respond well to teeth whitening treatments. Because they’re on the exterior of the tooth, they can more easily be treated with whitening agents than interior stains.

How Can I Remove Intrinsic Tooth Stains?

Intrinsic tooth stains do not respond to teeth whitening; instead, you can have teeth bonding done to cover the discolorations. Porcelain veneers can also transform your smile.

How Can I Prevent Tooth Stains?

The best way to prevent tooth stains is to avoid food, drinks, and habits that are known to cause them. Coffee, red wine, dark soda, sugary food, and starchy foods should be avoided or consumed in moderation to maintain the whiteness of your teeth. If you do consume these items, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene to clean teeth and prevent staining residue from building up. Brush your teeth twice daily, floss daily, use a mouthwash, and visit your dentist for a cleaning and check-up every six months.


At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-6356 today.