Reasons You May Have Stained Teeth

Our teeth stain naturally over time for many reasons. However, for some people, teeth staining goes deeper than the surface stains that your dentist can brighten during your regular cleaning.

What could be making your teeth appear darker, more yellow, or just less white than they used to be? Here are the top reasons your teeth could be stained!

You Love Coffee or Wine

While many different foods and drinks can stain teeth—including fruit juice, soy sauce, and even berries—coffee and wine are two of the worst offenders. Regular consumption of either or both coffee and wine can cause your teeth to darken over time. Red wine has the most noticeable effect when it comes to stained teeth, but any type of alcohol has the potential to stain teeth. Coffee and wine can even cause tooth staining after having your teeth professionally whitened, making it important to keep up with your regular dental cleanings [1]!

Your Tooth Enamel Isn’t What It Used to Be

Tooth enamel protects your teeth and gives them their translucent appearance. However, if your tooth enamel is thinner than it used to be due to damage, your teeth can actually discolor easier, causing teeth to appear more yellow [2]. The reason for this is because dentin, the softer layer beneath your tooth enamel, is naturally more yellow, and when dentin begins to show through, your teeth may appear more dull and less white.

You Had Tetracycline as a Child

If you were exposed to the antibiotic tetracycline, either in utero or you took it as a child before age 8, your teeth may be discolored and have a grayish appearance. Tetracycline can affect tooth mineralization and therefore permanently discolor the adult teeth before they erupt through the gum tissue [3]. Although teeth that are stained due to tetracycline exposure are more challenging to whiten, you do have options to improve the color of your teeth with your dentist!

You Have Poor Oral Hygiene

Skip brushing and flossing on occasion? This bad habit could contribute to stained teeth [4]. Daily brushing and flossing help remove plaque that can not only cause tooth decay and gum disease, but stain your teeth over time. The result could be a buildup of surface stains or deep, set-in stains that are difficult to correct.

You Smoke or Chew Tobacco

If you use tobacco, whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars, or chew tobacco, your teeth will be more stained than someone who doesn’t use tobacco. Tobacco can cause teeth to be yellow, brown, or even black in appearance, and the more you use tobacco or the longer you use it, the worse your staining will be [5].

You Can Have a Bright Smile!

It’s possible to have a bright smile for life by taking care of your teeth, both with regular at- home brushing and flossing and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.

Unhappy with the shade of your teeth? Your dentist can talk with you about potential whitening options during your appointment!

Sources:
1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23421870/
2. https://now.tufts.edu/articles/what-causes-discolored-teeth-and-there-any-way-cure-
or-prevent-staining
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2741196/#
4. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10958-tooth-discoloration
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1079878/#

Summary
Reasons You May Have Stained Teeth
Article Name
Reasons You May Have Stained Teeth
Description
What could be making your teeth appear darker, more yellow, or just less white than they used to be? Here are the top reasons your teeth could be stained!
Author
Centreville Dental Wellness Center