what causes teeth yellowing

What Causes Teeth Yellowing

Aside from being unpleasant to look at, yellowing teeth can be a sign of more serious health conditions. It can be the cause of low self-confidence and can prevent people from flashing their teeth and smile.

Yellowing teeth is a common problem. However, knowing its root causes (no pun intended!) can help you adopt some lifestyle changes to prevent it.

Here are some of the usual causes of teeth yellowing:

  • Aging

As we age, it is inevitable that our teeth lose its natural coating called enamel, causing its gradual discoloration. As the teeth coating gets worn out, the natural yellow color of the dentin gets revealed. Moreover, your teeth accumulate tartar as you age which contributes to turning your teeth yellow.

  • Certain drinks like tea and coffee

Coffee, soda, tea, alcohol, wine and other drinks that are acidic are among the most common reasons why teeth turn to yellow. The acid and tannins in these drinks are the culprit. Although you probably cannot avoid drinking these beverages entirely, limiting your intake can definitely lessen the possibility of discoloration.

  • Tobacco

Cigarettes and other tobacco products are harmful to the enamel of our teeth. The nicotine and tar in tobacco are what causes teeth yellowing. Although nicotine in itself does not cause yellowing, its combination with oxygen causes teeth discoloration.

Another component of tobacco that yellows the teeth is tar. When it accumulates on the oral cavity, it contributes to the yellowing of your teeth.

  • Tooth damage

When your teeth decay because of damages such as breaking and cracking, the pulp tissue of your teeth turns to yellow.

  • Certain medicines

Certain medications like tetracycline and doxycycline can cause your teeth to yellow. These drugs can affect the structure of your teeth. Other medications such as chlorhexidine and other chemotherapy drugs can also cause teeth yellowing.

  • Excessive fluoride

Fluorosis results from the excessive consumption of fluoride especially at the time when teeth are still forming. One symptom of fluorosis is the yellowing of teeth. This condition is common among children and may be incurred through accumulated intake of water and other drinks that contain fluoride.

Although not a serious disease, fluorosis causes the teeth to be unpleasantly discolored. This can be treated through teeth whitening, veneers or crowns.

  • Poor dental hygiene

Certain dental practices such as brushing and flossing, when done wrong, may cause teeth yellowing. When you do not brush and floss your teeth regularly, plaque buildup happens. Brushing your teeth twice a day and visiting your dentist for regular cleaning can help prevent the formation of plaque.

  • Genetics

Some people are just born with natural yellow teeth. Genetics plays a big role in determining the appearance of your teeth. The enamel, the outer layer of your teeth, is what makes your teeth appear white. The thicker the enamel, the whiter your teeth appear.

The layer under the enamel is the dentin, which is naturally yellow in color. When you have a thin enamel, your dentin is more visible, which means that your teeth will appear more yellow.

Proper hygiene and teeth whitening are now available if you want to address your yellowing teeth. If you are in the NYC area, contact us today.