Defeating Dental Veneer Discolouration: Causes and Prevention Tips


A bright, radiant smile is often seen as a symbol of health and vitality. Many invest in dental veneers to enhance the appearance of their teeth, seeking that flawless, durable, and natural-looking smile. However, the issue of dental veneer discolouration can be a significant concern, casting a shadow over those beautiful smiles.

Dental veneer discolouration is not just an aesthetic problem; it can also indicate underlying oral health issues. Whether you already have veneers or are considering getting them, understanding the causes of veneer discolouration and how to manage it is essential.

The decision to get dental veneers is significant, and managing expectations is crucial. By being aware of the potential risks of discolouration and how to address them, you can enjoy a whiter smile for a longer time.

Whether you have discoloured veneers or want to prevent them from discolouring, this comprehensive guide will provide tips and insights for dental veneer care. Please continue reading to explore the causes of veneer discolouration and discover practical ways to maintain their shine and whiteness over time.

Summary of the Content:

  • Dental veneer discolouration is a concern for many, and understanding its causes is essential for preventing veneer discolouration.
  • Common reasons for dental veneer discolouration include intrinsic and extrinsic factors such as food, drinks, and smoking.
  • A major component of preventing veneer discolouration involves maintaining proper dental hygiene.
  • Dietary choices can impact veneer colour, and awareness of staining foods and beverages is crucial.
  • Smoking affects veneer colour significantly, and quitting can improve oral health.
  • Practical tips to prevent dental veneer discolouration include dietary changes, oral hygiene practices, and regular dental check-ups.
  • Considerations before getting veneers include potential discolouration and the need for proper care.

Understanding Dental Veneer Discolouration

Dental veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry option for enhancing the appearance of teeth, offering a brighter and more uniform smile. However, one concern for those with veneers may be the potential for discolouration. Understanding what dental veneer discolouration is and why it’s a concern is essential for maintaining the aesthetic appeal of this dental treatment.

Dental veneer discolouration refers to the change in colour or appearance of the veneer surface. Unlike natural teeth, veneers are made from materials like porcelain or composite resin, which can react differently to various factors. Discolouration can manifest as stains, dullness, or uneven veneer shading.

The primary goal of dental veneers is to enhance teeth’ aesthetic appearance. Discolouration can undermine this goal by:

  • Affecting aesthetics:
    Stains or changes in colour can diminish the visual appeal of veneers, causing dissatisfaction with their appearance.
  • Requiring additional treatment:
    Discolouration may necessitate further dental treatments or replacements, adding to costs and time spent in the dental chair.
  • Impacting self-confidence:
    The appearance of one’s smile plays a significant role in self-confidence. Discolouration can result in self-consciousness or embarrassment.

Understanding the factors that contribute to discolouration can help in prevention and management. These risk factors can be broadly categorised into:

  • Intrinsic factors:
    These are related to the material, quality, and underlying dental conditions.
  • Extrinsic factors:
    These include lifestyle choices, dietary habits, and environmental influences.

Dental veneer discolouration is a concern that requires attention and understanding. It’s not merely a cosmetic issue but can affect overall dental treatment satisfaction and self-confidence. By recognising dental veneer discolouration and why it’s a concern, people with veneers can take informed steps to maintain their smile’s beauty.

Common Causes of Dental Veneer Discolouration

Dental veneer discolouration can be a disheartening experience for those who have invested in this cosmetic dentistry treatment to enhance their smile. Understanding the common causes of veneer discolouration can help manage and prevent this issue. Here’s a detailed exploration of the various factors that can cause veneer discolouration:

1. Intrinsic causes:

  • Material quality:
    The type of material used in veneers, such as composite or porcelain veneers, can affect their susceptibility to discolouration. Porcelain veneers are generally more resistant to staining compared to composite veneers.
  • Ageing of veneers:
    Veneers may undergo natural wear and tear over time, causing colour changes.
  • Underlying tooth issues:
    Problems with the natural teeth beneath the veneers, such as decay or damage to tooth enamel, can cause discolouration.

2. Extrinsic causes:

  • Food and drinks:
    Consuming pigmented foods and drinks, such as black coffee, red-coloured foods, and soft drinks, can stain veneers over time.
  • Smoking:
    Tobacco products are known to cause staining, not only on natural teeth but also on dental restorations like veneers.
  • Poor oral hygiene:
    A lack of proper care and maintenance can cause plaque and tartar buildup, contributing to discolouration.
  • Coloured Mouthwashes:
    Some mouthwashes contain ingredients that can stain teeth if used regularly.
  • Medications:
    Certain medications, such as antihistamines and antipsychotic drugs, can cause extrinsic dental staining as a side effect.
  • Chlorhexidine Mouthwash:
    This antiseptic mouthwash is sometimes prescribed by dentists for certain dental conditions, but prolonged use can lead to brown staining of the teeth.
  • Iron Supplements:
    Iron supplements, especially when they come in a liquid form, can cause extrinsic staining.

3. Professional care considerations:

  • Dental clinic qualifications:
    The techniques and materials used by the dental clinic can impact the long-term appearance of veneers. It is vital to choose an experienced dentist or a reputable dental clinic.

4. Habits and lifestyle choices:

  • Oral care routine:
    Adequate care, including regular cleanings and check-ups with the dentist, is crucial for maintaining the appearance of veneers.
  • Dietary habits:
    Avoiding food and drinks known to cause discolouration can help preserve the whiteness of veneers.

Understanding these common causes of dental veneer discolouration is the first step towards maintaining a beautiful smile. By being aware of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, patients can take proactive measures to manage and prevent discolouration. Regular consultations with a dentist about whitening options and proper care can also help keep veneers looking their best.

The Role of Oral Hygiene in Veneer Discolouration

Dental hygiene plays a pivotal role in the appearance and longevity of dental veneers. Poor oral hygiene can contribute to veneer discolouration, while a diligent care routine can help maintain their original colour and shine. Here’s how oral hygiene impacts veneer discolouration and the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene:

1. Plaque and tartar buildup:

  • Plaque accumulation:
    Plaque is a bacterial film that sticks to veneers and discolours them.
  • Tartar formation:
    If plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar, which may stain the veneers.

2. Inadequate cleaning techniques:

  • Improper brushing:
    A hard-bristled toothbrush or abrasive toothpaste can scratch veneers, making them more susceptible to stains.
  • Neglecting flossing:
    Failing to floss can cause discolouration between the veneers.

3. Lack of professional dental care:

  • Missed dental check-ups:
    Regular professional cleanings are essential to remove any buildup that regular home care might miss.
  • Ignoring dental advice:
    Not following the care instructions provided by your dentist can result in premature discolouration.

4. Oral health conditions:

  • Gum disease:
    Inflammation and bleeding gums can affect the appearance of the veneers.
  • Tooth decay:
    Decay under or around a veneer can cause discolouration.

Oral Hygiene Tips for Veneer Care

Maintaining the appearance of your veneers requires a dedicated and appropriate oral hygiene routine. Here are some essential tips:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: This helps prevent scratches on the veneer surface.
  • Choose non-abrasive toothpaste: Special toothpaste designed for veneers can be beneficial.
  • Floss gently: Use dental floss to clean between the veneers without damaging them.
  • Regular dental visits: Schedule regular check-ups and cleanings with your dentist.
  • Follow the dentist’s instructions: Adhere to your dentist’s specific care guidelines.

Oral hygiene is not just about maintaining the health of your teeth and gums; it’s also crucial for keeping your veneers looking their finest. By understanding the role of oral hygiene in veneer discolouration and following the right care routine, you can have a radiant smile for a very long time.

Dietary Factors Impacting Veneer Colour

The foods and drinks we consume can impact the colour of dental veneers. While veneers are more resistant to staining than natural teeth, certain dietary factors can still cause discolouration over time. Here’s an in-depth look at how diet can affect veneer colour and what you can do to minimise these effects:

1. Foods and drinks that stain:

  • Dark coffee and tea: These popular beverages contain tannins that can cause veneer surface stains.
  • Red wine: Known for its staining properties, red wine can affect the colour of veneers.
  • Berries and dark sauces: Foods like blueberries, soy sauce, and tomato-based sauce can cause discolouration.
  • Curries and spices: Strongly coloured spices such as turmeric can stain veneers.

2. Acidic foods and drinks:

  • Citrus fruits: Acidic foods like lemons and oranges can erode the veneer cement, making them more prone to staining.
  • Soda and sports drinks: These beverages often contain acids that can affect veneer colour.

Understanding the dietary factors that can impact veneer colour is the first step in prevention. Here are some practical dental veneer care tips to help maintain the appearance of your veneers:

  • Mindful consumption:
    Be aware of the staining potential of certain foods and drinks and consume them in moderation.
  • Use a straw:
    Use a straw when drinking stain-causing liquids to reduce contact with veneers.
  • Rinse after eating:
    Rinsing your mouth with water after eating items that stain veneers can help reduce their effects.
  • Maintain regular dental check-ups:
    Your dentist can provide professional cleanings and advice tailored to your dietary habits.

Diet is crucial to the appearance of dental veneers. Be aware of the foods and beverages that can cause discolouration. Follow the tips provided to help preserve the colour and integrity of your veneers.

The Impact of Smoking on Veneer Colour

Smoking is a well-known factor that can result in discolouration of dental veneers. Although veneers are made to be stain-resistant, the tar and nicotine in tobacco products can still impact how they look. Here’s an exploration of how smoking impacts veneer colour and what can be done to mitigate these effects:

1. Nicotine stains:

  • Tar and nicotine:
    These substances in tobacco can cause a yellowish or brownish stain on the veneers, diminishing their brightness.
  • Frequency of smoking:
    The more frequently a person smokes, the more pronounced the staining can become.

2. Oral health concerns:

  • Gum recession:
    Smoking can cause gum recession, exposing the edges of veneers, which may become discoloured.
  • Dry mouth:
    Tobacco use can reduce saliva production, resulting in a dry mouth that makes veneers more susceptible to staining.

3. Long-term impact:

  • Persistent staining:
    Over time, the stains from smoking can become more ingrained and challenging to eliminate.
  • Affects overall oral health:
    Smoking not only impacts the colour of veneers but also contributes to other dental health issues, such as bad breath and the risk of gum disease.

For those who have dental veneers and are concerned about the impact of smoking, here are some dental veneer care tips to consider:

  • Consider quitting:
    Quitting smoking is the most effective way to prevent staining and improve oral health. Support and resources are available to help with this significant lifestyle change.
  • Regular dental cleanings:
    Professional dental cleanings can reduce surface stains and maintain the appearance of veneers.
  • Use specialised toothpaste:
    Some toothpaste is formulated to reduce tobacco staining. Consult with your dentist for recommendations.
  • Stay hydrated:
    Drinking water can help combat dry mouth and reduce the potential for staining.

Smoking presents a real challenge to maintaining the colour and appearance of dental veneers. By understanding how tobacco use can result in discolouration, patients can take proactive steps to mitigate these effects. Whether through quitting smoking or adopting specific oral care practices, there are ways to preserve the aesthetic appeal of veneers.

How to Prevent Dental Veneer Discolouration

Preventing veneer discolouration is essential for maintaining a bright and appealing smile. While veneers generally resist staining, certain factors can cause discolouration over time. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you understand how to prevent dental veneer discolouration:

1. Maintain good oral hygiene:

  • Brush regularly:
    Use a non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush.
  • Floss daily:
    Flossing helps reduce particles that could cause staining.
  • Regular dental check-ups:
    Regular dental visits for professional cleanings can help maintain the appearance of veneers.

2. Mind your diet:

  • Avoid staining foods and drinks:
    Food and drinks like coffee, tea, red wine, and certain berries can stain veneers.
  • Drink with a straw:
    Using a straw minimises contact with staining liquids.
  • Rinse after eating:
    After consuming stain-causing foods or beverages, rinsing your mouth with water can be helpful.

3. Avoid tobacco products:

  • Quit smoking:
    As previously discussed, smoking can cause veneer discolouration.
  • Avoid chewing tobacco:
    Chewing tobacco can also stain veneers.

4. Protect your veneers:

  • Avoid grinding teeth:
    Consider wearing a night guard if you grind your teeth.
  • Be careful with hard foods:
    Biting into hard foods can chip or crack veneers, resulting in discolouration.

5. Consider veneer material:

  • Choose high-quality material:
    Porcelain veneers are more resistant to staining than composite resin veneers.

6. Follow the dentist’s recommendations:

  • Follow care instructions:
    Your dentist will provide specific care instructions tailored to your veneers.

Preventing dental veneer discolouration requires a combination of good oral hygiene, dietary considerations, lifestyle choices, and adherence to professional dental advice. Following these guidelines lets you enjoy your dental veneers’ long-term beauty and function.

Things to Consider Before Getting Veneers

Dental veneers can transform your smile, offering a more uniform and bright appearance. However, before proceeding with this dental procedure, it’s important to consider various factors so that veneers are the right option. Here’s a comprehensive list of considerations:

1. Understanding the procedure:

  • Definitive changes:
    Veneers require removing a small amount of tooth enamel, a definitive change.
  • Irreversible process:
    Once placed, the process cannot be reversed.

2. Potential for discolouration:

  • Material selection:
    The type of material used can affect the likelihood of discolouration.
  • Lifestyle factors:
    As discussed earlier, certain habits like smoking and dietary choices can impact veneer colour.

3. Maintenance and care:

  • Oral hygiene practices:
    Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are essential.
  • Potential for damage:
    Veneers can chip or crack, requiring repair or replacement.

4. Cost considerations:

  • Expense:
    Veneers can be a significant investment, and costs vary depending on various factors.
  • Health fund cover:
    Many dental health fund plans do not cover cosmetic dentistry procedures like veneers.

5. Choosing the right dentist

  • Experience and qualifications:
    Look for a dentist with experience in placing veneers.
  • Consultation:
    Discuss your expectations and any concerns with the dentist before proceeding.

6. Long-term commitment:

  • The lifespan of veneers:
    Porcelain veneers last at least ten years and up to 12 – 25 years
  • Future replacements:
    Consider the long-term commitment and potential need for future replacements.

Considering these things, you may make an informed choice that aligns with your dental health goals and aesthetic desires.

Final Thoughts

Dental veneers offer a transformative opportunity for those seeking to enhance their smile. From understanding the causes of discolouration to implementing prevention strategies, the journey towards a brighter smile is filled with careful considerations and informed choices.

At Ellen Stirling Dental Ellenbrook, we believe in empowering our patients with the knowledge and support they need to make decisions that align with their dental health and aesthetic goals. Our dental clinic is committed to providing personalised care tailored to your unique needs and preferences.

The future of your smile is bright, and it begins with a simple step. Whether you’re considering dental veneers or seeking advice on maintaining your existing veneers, we invite you to book an appointment online to schedule a consultation at your convenience.

Your smile reflects you, and we’re here to help you shine. Let’s embark on this journey together towards a future filled with confidence, beauty, and radiant smiles.

Dr. Rachit Shah


Dr. Rachit Shah

Dr. Rachit Shah has a caring and holistic approach to your healthcare. He brings a gentle and modern approach to dentistry; one aimed to create a painless and anxiety-free experience whilst using conservative methods to create long-lasting and highly aesthetic smiles.

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