Can You Remove Tobacco Stains With Teeth Whitening? | Dr. Alex Midtown NYC Cosmetic Dentist

Can You Remove Tobacco Stains With Teeth Whitening?

Most people don’t realize that teeth are porous, similar to skin. This means when using tobacco or nicotine your teeth will absorb it which over time will cause either brown or yellow tobacco stains. Nicotine on its own is actually colorless, but transforms into yellow when coming into contact with oxygen. Teeth whitening is the most commonly used method for eliminating teeth stains, but how effective is it?

How Tobacco Stains Form

Most tobacco products use nicotine as a key ingredient, even e-cigarettes. When consuming tobacco the nicotine will mix with oxygen and become yellow. Over time the teeth of tobacco users is prone to discoloration due to the effects of inhalation. For products such as chewing tobacco, the brownish tobacco will combine with the saliva of the user to produce a liquid dark brown in color which is highly staining. The liquid is persistent and will reside among the teeth, heavily discoloring them.

Why Are Teeth Stains So Hard To Eliminate?

Aside from the fact that virtually anything in life which is bad is hard to get rid of, teeth stains in particular are tough to eradicate since they are often the result of smoking or chewing tobacco products for years. The stains penetrate deep inside the enamel and in many cases will even reach the outer dentin layer. While traditional dental cleaning is capable of getting rid of plaque, tartar and bacteria which reside between the teeth, it is not very effective against stains. Teeth whitening, on the other hand, can remove the stains while restoring the teeth to its natural white luster.

Why Are There Dark Stains Near My Gum Line?

The two primary reasons why you’re seeing stains near your gum line is either because you don’t floss regularly, are not getting professional teeth cleaning and or you’re using tobacco products. The tooth’s edge is where your teeth meet each other along with the gums, and it is one of the main spots for tartar buildup. Tartar is exceptionally porous in its own right (more so than enamel), and as a consequence will absorb nicotine stains more rapidly. Additionally, those who smoke cigarettes or use chewing tobacco will experience gum lines which recede over time.

Due to this shrinkage the teeth roots will become exposed, which will quickly stain as they are comprised of a softer dentin material which is much more susceptible to staining than enamel. However, the good news is that since dentin stains readily it can also be easily whitened.

How Do I Get Teeth Whitening?

This is a procedure that you will want to have performed by a dentist.  The good news for those who have used tobacco or cigarettes is that due to their tooth discoloration they will receive the most dramatic results from this procedure. The treatment works by applying a special gel which maintains continual contact with every tooth angle for an extended period of time. This dental procedure is far more advanced and effective than the standard tooth whitening products that you can buy over the counter.

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