Tobacco Teeth Stains

Dear Dr. Hall:

I drink coffee and smoke, and you can tell from my stained teeth. What’s the best way to get rid of these coffee and tobacco stains?

—Vicky in Iowa

Dear Vicky:

There is only one best toothpaste I know of that will remove tobacco stains, and that is Supersmile® whitening toothpaste. While typical smokers’ toothpastes are very harsh, Supersmile gently dissolves the protein pellicle that these stains attach to, and is so gentle that it is one of only two toothpastes I am aware of that is proven gentle enough for delicate cosmetic bonding. I’m sure it will keep these stains off your beautiful teeth.

But tobacco causes two types of staining on teeth. Initially, it accumulates on the surface like a brownish crud, as you see in the photos to the right. This superficial stain can be removed with a professional cleaning or with Supersmile. But, over the years, some of the stain will soak into the teeth. Tooth enamel is a little porous, and this makes the whole tooth turn a darker color. No toothpaste will remove this. What you need at this point is a professional tooth whitening. A clear tray is made for your teeth, and you wear that tray with a whitening gel in it either during the day or at night depending on the system being used. Or you can get an in-office Zoom whitening treatment, which does the same thing. The gel that is used is oxygenating, and it penetrates into the tooth and oxidizes the stains, thus eliminating them.

Without tooth whitening treatments, tobacco can eventually make your teeth be a fairly dark brown color.

Click here for information about coffee stains on teeth. Coffee color will also be absorbed into the tooth structure.

Other substances will cause discolored teeth. Tea, cola drinks, and darkly pigmented berries will all be absorbed over the years by your teeth and will cause a brownish or yellowish color of the teeth.

Supersmile isn’t sold in stores, but it is available directly from the manufacturer or from many cosmetic dentists. We have a page with a link for purchasing it. Click here to visit our Supersmile page.

—Dr. David Hall

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