Can Intrinsic Tooth Stains Be Removed?

intrinsicstainsDid you know that there are different kinds of tooth stains? There are intrinsic stains and extrinsic stains. Intrinsic means that the stains are inside the tooth. Extrinsic means the stains are on the exterior of the tooth. Your tooth is encapsulated with tooth enamel, so exterior stains are those that adhere to your tooth enamel. Extrinsic stains can be removed via bleaching, but can intrinsic tooth stains be removed?

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Tooth Stains

Extrinsic tooth stains are caused by the foods we eat and drink over time. Extrinsic stains include stains from:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Red wine
  • Dark sodas
  • Berries
  • Red sauces
  • Chocolate
  • Hot sauces

Intrinsic stains happen while your teeth are developing and are usually caused by excessive exposure to fluoride during childhood, the use of tetracycline by children 8 years-old and younger, and the use of tetracycline during pregnancy. Rarely are children born with dentinogenesis imperfecta, which is when their teeth are grayish, amber, or purplish in color.

Stain Removal

While extrinsic stains respond to over-the-counter whitening kits and professional whitening, intrinsic stains require dental treatments that cover the tooth, such as resin bonding or veneer treatment.

If you are looking to whiten your teeth and have extrinsic staining Dr. Quinn provides Zoom! In-office whitening treatments for which you will see results in an hour. Take home trays which are more effective than over-the-counter kits and can whiten your teeth by six shades in 7 to 10 days are also available. If you suspect your stains are intrinsic, schedule a consultation with Dr. Quinn to discuss cosmetic bonding and dental veneers.


Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.