Why Do Teeth Turn Yellow?

Brunette woman wearing a brown hat and watch covers her yellow teeth while standing in a sunflower field

At North Tonawanda Family Dentistry, one of the most common complaints we hear from our patients is that their teeth have yellowed over time. Today, we want to take a closer look at some of the causes of yellow teeth and talk about how to improve the brightness of your smile.

What Color Are Natural Teeth?

Believe it or not, teeth are not naturally bright white. Natural teeth usually have a yellow or grey tint to them. This occurs because your teeth’s dentin (the layer between the outer enamel and the inner pulp) is yellow. Enamel is a translucent bluish-white color that allows some of this underlying yellow color to show through. This results in your teeth naturally appearing as an off-white color.

Why Do My Teeth Look Yellow?

Although some yellowish tint to your teeth is normal, teeth with yellow stains can be unsightly and may cause you to try to hide your smile. There many reasons for teeth going yellow, but the most common include poor oral hygiene, smoking, and diet.

  • Poor oral hygiene commonly results in yellow deposits on teeth. Plaque is a sticky, yellow film that accumulates on your teeth if bacteria in your mouth aren’t properly brushed and flossed away. Plaque hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional.
  • The tar and nicotine in smoke stay behind on your teeth long after you’ve finished your cigarette. They can slowly be absorbed into your enamel, giving your teeth a yellow color. We recommend you quit or avoid smoking to protect your oral and your overall health!
  • As for your diet, many foods and drinks easily stain your teeth, such as coffee, wine, balsamic vinegar, and tomato sauce. Foods high in acid, such as soda and citrus, are particularly damaging because they dissolve your enamel and allow the yellow dentin to become more readily apparent. It’s best to limit your consumption of these, but when you do indulge, be sure to drink plenty of water to reduce their staining effect.

We Can Restore the Appearance of Your Teeth!

If you’re looking to makeover your smile, ask our team about our cosmetic dentistry treatments during your next visit. Our expert team can create a customized plan to give you the smile you’ve always wanted. Schedule your appointment by contacting our office today!

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