What Makes Teeth Turn Yellow?

Aerial view of brown coffee in a white mug on a yellow counter

Think of your favorite celebrities, actors, and models. What do they all have in common? Dazzling white smiles. And now think of your own smile. Unfortunately, it’s probably not as bright as a celebrity’s smile. But the real question is: why? We’ve compiled a list of the common causes of tooth discoloration.

  1. Stained Enamel
  2. The white we associate with teeth is actually the surface layer of the teeth, called enamel. The foods and drinks we consume can cause surface stains on our tooth enamel. Enamel is also worn away by the acids in certain food and drinks. (Coffee, we’re looking at you.)

  3. Exposed Dentin
  4. After the enamel has been worn down, the next layer of the teeth is exposed. This layer, called dentin, is actually yellow in color. This is why you should be wary of trends like charcoal toothpaste, because these DIY teeth whitening tricks can potentially scrub away the enamel and have the opposite effect.

  5. Smoking
  6. Smoking causes discoloration and an increased buildup of plaque and tartar on teeth.

  7. Genetics
  8. You may have inherited enamel that is thinner than most people’s. This can make the yellowish color of dentin more visible underneath the enamel.

  9. Tetracycline Antibiotics
  10. As noted in several studies, teeth that are exposed to tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline can be permanently stained. Tetracycline should not used after the first trimester of pregnancy or for children less than 8 years old due to the risk of permanent tooth discoloration.

Prevention & Treatment

Regular brushing and flossing and biannual checkups with Dr. Hill are the first step to preventing yellowing teeth. If you’re unhappy with the color of your teeth, we offer professional teeth whitening services to help you achieve a bright, pearlescent smile once more.

We Will Restore Your Smile to Full Beauty!

If you are still wondering why your teeth are yellowing or are interested in whitening your teeth, schedule a consultation with our team at Hillsboro Village Dental. We’re happy to discuss your health history and lifestyle habits to get to the bottom of your tooth discoloration. Contact our office today to plan your next visit!

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