Yellow Teeth and Other tooth Discolouration

Everyone wants their teeth to be white and pearly. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Most people will experience some form of teeth discoloration at some point in their lifetime. While this change is gradual and subtle in some people, the change occurs suddenly in others. Discolored teeth can have a wide range of causes. There are different options you can explore as well. In this post, we will explore the potential causes of the different forms of teeth discoloration and answer the question of whether or not they can be reversed by a professional dentist.

Yellow Teeth: Causes

Tooth discoloration is normal and can even be expected in most people. There are several causes of tooth discoloration and some of them are not even preventable. If your natural teeth seem to be losing the natural paper white color that you love, it could be due to any of these reasons:


The teeth’ natural color when we start developing them at a young age is an attractive white color. However, this doesn’t last forever. As a person ages, the adult teeth are likely to turn yellow. In some cases, this yellowing might be linked to anything you’re doing wrong. The pearly white part of your teeth is called enamel. Beneath this is a layer known as dentin, which is yellowish. The enamel is likely to wear off as you age, revealing the dentin underneath.


Some food and drinks we consume can contribute to teeth staining or discoloration. Beverages like coffee, tea, and wines are particularly at fault for this. But even fruits like berries, apples, and potatoes can stain your teeth especially if you eat them often.

Smoking or chewing tobacco:

Tobacco use is one of the surest causes of teeth discoloration. If you smoke often or chew tobacco regularly, the chances of your teeth getting stained is quite high

Poor oral hygiene:

People who don’t brush, floss or rinse their mouth enough are at risk of teeth discoloration. It will cause a layer of plaque and other teeth staining substances to accumulate on their teeth, causing them to lose their natural white color.


Certain diseases that affect the teeth’s enamel and dentin can cause tooth discoloration. Some diseases that don’t even affect the teeth directly may also contribute to discoloration. Certain infections in pregnant women may affect the development of the enamel in their babies.


Certain medications, especially antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline can inhibit proper dental development, especially in young children below the age of 8. Antihistamines such as Benadryl and antipsychotic drugs can stain the teeth as well.

Some mouthwashes:

Especially those that contain cetylpyridinium chloride, can also stain the teeth. People undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer may also experience tooth discolouration as one of the side effects of their treatment.

Dental material:

Some products used to reinforce or strengthen the teeth in dentistry can lead to discoloration. Metal braces for instance can leave your teeth discolored. Amalgam restorations, especially with materials that contain silver sulfide-containing can leave a gray-black color on your teeth as well.

Genetics and Environment:

Some people’s teeth are a few shades whiter than others because their genetics favors them with naturally thicker enamel. A person’s environment can also contribute to how white their teeth are. Excessive fluoride from natural sources such as the water you drink can cause teeth discoloration.

What do the color of your teeth and teeth stains say about your dental health

People often ask questions like “what does it mean if my teeth are yellow?” or “What does it mean if the color of my teeth changes”. Generally, your teeth can suffer different types of discoloration depending on what’s causing it. Here are some of the things you should not about teeth coloration and what it might mean:


Teeth yellowing is typically a result of aging or any of the other factors that affect the outer surface of your teeth (the tooth enamel), causing them to wear down. This reveals the yellow core of your teeth known as the dentin.


Tobacco and other potential teeth staining products such as dark beverages like tea and coffee can cause your teeth to turn brown. Tooth decay due to poor hygiene can also cause teeth browning

White Spots:

A condition known as fluorosis may occur when you take in too much fluoride from drinking water or fluoride toothpaste. This causes white spots to appear on the teeth.

Black or Gray:

Necrosis in the tooth pulp or tooth decay as a result of poor hygiene can lead to grayish or black teeth. Excessive exposure to minerals like manganese, iron, or silver can also lead to a black line appearing on your teeth


Red wine often causes a purple-colored stain to appear on your teeth.

Is yellow teeth stronger?

Most people consider sparkling white teeth as the standard for dental hygiene. You’ll see it in the advertisements of multiple brands selling toothpaste and other oral care products. But are white teeth always healthier and stronger than yellow teeth? Interestingly, the answer is not as straightforward as you might expect. Recent research now suggests that yellow teeth might just be as strong or even stronger than white teeth in some cases.

Understanding that dilemma starts with knowing the answer to the question “What is normal teeth color?” Contrary to expectations, the teeth aren’t actually all white. The enamel which is only the outer layer of the teeth is a bluish-white color. But this layer is so thin and translucent that you can see the layer below it (the dentine) in many people. So the teeth’s natural appearance in most people is either light yellow or light gray. There are still a few people with natural glowing white teeth, but that’s only because they have thicker enamel than others. It doesn’t imply that their teeth are stronger or healthier than those with yellow teeth.

Here’s something even more interesting, when you use teeth whitening products, you may be exposing yourself to the risk of dental issues because it could strip away layers of your teeth. Your chances of getting a cavity and other dental problems are higher. At the end of the day, having natural light yellow teeth might be better than whitening your teeth with artificial products that scrape layers off your teeth.

How do I remove the yellow from my teeth? Whiten teeth.

So let’s say the yellowing of your teeth is a result of staining due to any of the causes highlighted earlier, how do you get rid of it and make your teeth whiter? Generally, the treatment option will depend on the cause of the discolouration in the first place. Some of the recommended methods of getting rid of teeth discolouration include:

Tooth brushing and flossing regularly:

Does brushing your teeth 3 times a day make them whiter? The truth is there’s no guarantee. But good oral care does increase your chances of white teeth.

Natural or home remedies:

There are simple at-home whitening remedies such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and activated charcoal that people claim are effective for whitening the teeth. However, you should use them with extreme caution.

Over-the-counter whitening agents:

Teeth whitening strips, gels, whitening toothpaste, and bleaching agents may help brighten your smile to a certain extent. However, their impact might not be long-lasting.

In-home teeth whitening agents prescribed by your dentist:

Dentists may recommend custom-made trays that you wear for a few weeks to whiten your teeth.

In-office professional teeth whitening procedures

In-office teeth bleaching is the fastest and most effective way to brighten your teeth. Results are longer lasting than any of the other methods.


For instant teeth whitening effects, you can visit your dentist to get veneers. This is a thin shell that covers the front of your teeth. It is custom-fitted and can change the color and shape of your teeth.

Can dentists whiten yellow teeth?

The best way to get answers to this question and other questions like “Is it too late to whiten teeth?” is to visit a dental clinic. 

Visit us at Sbenati Dentistry, our dentist office in London Ontario to talk to a professional in cosmetic dentistry and get recommendations based on your specific condition. Contact us or Call us (519) 474 – 0220.

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