What Causes Discolored Teeth?

January 9, 2021

There are many bad habits that can cause our teeth to become discolored. Below are just a few of the main culprits — and what you can do to make your teeth white again:

The Main Causes Of Discolored Teeth

  • Cola

Soft drinks are terrible for our teeth due to being full of sugar. Cola drinks tend to have some of the highest sugar levels and are most likely to cause teeth to wear away and become yellowed. On top of this, cola drinks contain colorants that are able to stain enamel.

  • Smoking

Smoking can cause teeth to turn a browny yellow color. This is due to tar and nicotine in the tobacco, which clings to the pores in our enamel. On top of staining teeth, smoking can also cause many other oral problems such as gum disease and even mouth cancer. 

  • Coffee and Tea

If you drink lots of tea or coffee, you could also be at risk of developing stained teeth. This hote beverages contain tannins, which are responsible for the drinks’ dark coloration. These tannins are able to penetrate the pores in the teeth, causing our enamel to become yellow. 

  • Red Wine

Red wine is another drink that is full of tannins. These can penetrate the enamel and cause our teeth to take on a brown or purple hue. Red wine is also alcoholic and dries out the mouth, which can help to encourage tooth decay (our saliva is necessary for keeping out mouth clean). 

  • Berries

If you eat lots of berries — particularly raspberries and blueberries — you could also be at a greater risk of developing discolored teeth. These fruits contain strong colorants. On top of this, berries are full of sugar (however it tends to be a healthier level  of sugar than that found in soft drinks). 

  • Poor Dental Hygiene

One of the biggest causes of tooth discoloration is simply not brushing teeth thoroughly enough. By brushing every morning and night, you can get rid of stains on your teeth and remove plaque that may be causing decay. Fail to brush regularly and sugar and colorants will continue to build up on your enamel. 

How To Whiten Your Teeth

If you are already started to notice that your teeth look discolored, it may not be too late to save your smile. While taking steps to fix the above bad habits can help to prevent further discoloration, you can also invest in various whitening treatments to help reduce staining. This could include anything from snap on veneers to laser whitening. Such treatments can be carried out by a professional or may be available through a home kit.

You can also use whitening toothpastes to help whiten your teeth. Some of these toothpastes are capable of brightening teeth in a matter of weeks. Just be wary not to overuse these toothpastes, as certain toothpastes containing ingredients like hydrogen peroxide and baking soda could start to wear down enamel if used too regularly (this will have the opposite effect to what you intended, making teeth yellower). 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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