Last Updated on May 27, 2023 by Dr Gustavo Assatourians DDS
Smiling is one of the most important traits of personality. A bright shiny healthy smile always seems more attractive and welcoming. Why teeth turn yellow? Yellow or dull teeth not only affect your smile but also hamper your confidence. Yellowing of teeth or discoloration usually happens gradually which makes it easy to become complacent with the change. Here at Oxnard center, we educate our patients and help them to keep their smiles healthy and shiny white.
Why teeth turn yellow?
Teeth yellowing is a frequent problem that many individuals deal with and can be caused by a variety of things. Some people might be embarrassed to smile or display their teeth in public due to their yellow teeth, which can make them feel self-conscious. People can take the appropriate action to prevent or address this issue by being aware of the causes of their yellow teeth. Let’s discuss some of them:
With advancing age, the outer layer of teeth (enamel) naturally gets thinner, making the teeth appear more yellow. Genetic factors and family history also play a major role in the yellowing or discoloration of teeth. As you get older, the teeth start to form more dentin, thus reducing the size of the pulp (blood and nerve tissue) which decreases the translucent effect of teeth making them more yellow.
2. Loss of enamel
Along with age as an important factor, natural wear and tear due to chewing cause the yellow inner layer to expose making the teeth appear yellower. Discoloration or yellowing of teeth happens when the enamel starts to scrap off and more of the dentin begins to appear. Intentional grinding of teeth at night or bruxism can also cause loss of enamel and yellowing of teeth.
Extrinsic stains due to certain food items can affect the outermost hard layer of teeth. Drinking excessive black tea or coffee regularly or consuming food with dark curries and sauces can lead to external stains. These beverages contain chemicals known as tannins, which tend to leave their residues over the tooth surfaces causing discoloration. Drinking an excessive amount of acidic beverages like soda, fizzy drinks or red wine can also cause staining of teeth due to erosion of the outer hard layer.
Certain fruits such as grapes, blueberries, beetroot, and pomegranates also have the potential to discolor your teeth due to the presence of chromogens, pigment-producing substances that can stick to the tooth surface. External staining is common to occur, but with a proper professional dental cleaning, these stains can be easily taken care of.
4. Smoking and tobacco chewing
Smoking and tobacco chewing are not only bad for health but also the tar from smoking causes severe damage to teeth as well as the oral cavity leading to gum problems and cancers in the oral cavity. Chronic smokers and habitual tobacco chewing often complain of dark yellow or ugly brownish stains with bad breath and weak teeth.
5. Certain health conditions and medications
Certain diseases and medications can cause internal staining of teeth such as antibiotics like tetracycline or doxycycline in pregnant women and children during initial growth phases before the age of 8. In adults, vigorous use of mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine or use of anti-acne drugs such as minocycline can lead to yellowing of teeth.
Fluoride is considered an important mineral for strengthening tooth enamel and preventing caries. On the other hand, getting too much fluoride can cause white streaks or brown spots on the teeth. Certain development disorders can also lead to the eruption of yellow or brown teeth.
Some ways to keep your teeth white and healthy
- Proper oral hygiene practices with regular brushing and flossing
- Regular dental check-ups and professional dental cleanings
- Paying attention to what you eat and drink
- Avoid smoking and other bad habits.
Cosmetic procedures including veneers, bonding, and teeth whitening are offered for people who currently have yellow teeth to help whiten them. People might feel more comfortable with their smiles if they are aware of the reasons why their teeth are yellow and take the necessary precautions to prevent or treat this problem.
If you have any questions about how children’s teeth erupt and fall out or other topics, you can contact us at Channel Islands Family Dental as well as our page on Facebook. We look forward to your visit and we will make a timely diagnosis. Our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, Newbury Park, and Port Hueneme will be able to guide you toward the best treatment to take care of your health and give you back your best smile.