Discoloration: Causes and
B LOG | S UNR I S E D EN T I S T R Y
Tooth discoloration is a common
dental issue that may occur due to
several causes, including medications.
The good news is that most drug-
induced stains are treatable and
Let’s check what kinds of drugs may
cause stained teeth, and what you can
do to keep your pearly whites healthy
and looking their best.
Types of Teeth Staining
To understand tooth discoloration
better, let us first discuss the different
categories of staining.
Extrinsic tooth discoloration refers to
stains that are only affecting the
enamel. This is commonly caused by
food, drinks, and smoking.
Intrinsic types of staining involve the
inner part of the tooth, which makes
it more difficult to remove manually
using over the counter cleaning and
Unlike the usual yellowish color, it
looks grayish. Tooth decay, excessive
fluoride, or any tooth injury
commonly cause intrinsic tooth
For older people, it is normal to have
stained teeth. Once the enamel starts
to wear out, it will leave a yellow
appearance. In most cases, age-
related staining is also induced by
both extrinsic and intrinsic factors.
So where can we classify
medications? Drugs used locally or
systemically are directly linked with
both extrinsic and intrinsic tooth
These medications often contain
chromogens, a substance that
converts into a dye or other colored
compounds. Depending on where
these chromogens are deposited,
that’s the only time the type of
staining involved can be determined.
Which Drugs Commonly Cause
Intrinsic Tooth Discoloration?
Medications that stain the outer
surface of your teeth may be caused
by metallic or non-metallic products.
These will cause superficial stains
that can be removed via professional
Drugs and Oral Solutions
Causing Metallic Stains:
While the exact mechanisms of the
processes involved in teeth
staining remain unclear, it is
believed that when m