Tooth Staining

by The Cosmetic Chemist Staff

Tooth color is influenced by a variety of factors including age and overall oral health state. Intrinsic discoloration of tooth occurs in many disease states including dentinogenesis imperfecta, congenital erythropoietic porphyria, and many others. Extrinsic tooth staining can occur for a variety of reasons, often developing from the consumption of tea, coffee, and red wine, which contain many types of tannins, as well as smoking tobacco, which is rich in tar and nicotine. Internalized discoloration refers to the incorporation of an extrinsic stain within the internal structure of the tooth as opposed to the surface.1 The condition of enamel is central to tooth color as stains may more easily penetrate through to the dentin when the enamel has been compromised. There have been considerable efforts in the oral care industry to circumvent extrinsic staining by employing specialty ingredients in toothpaste formulations and other dentifrices.

1. A. Watts, and M. Addy, Tooth discolouration and staining: a review of the literature. Br. Dent. J., 190(6), 309-316 (2001).