What are the possible causes of yellow teeth?

December 02, 2020

What are the possible causes of yellow teeth?
Aging can be the reason for yellow teeth

Causes of Yellow Teeth

Are you embarrassed to show off your smile because you have yellow teeth? You are not alone. There are many people who suffer from yellow teeth, especially since there are many factors that can cause it.


The yellowing of the teeth is something that happens gradually. This is why it is important to take proper care of your teeth to ensure that this does not happen. Since your teeth and smile are some of the first things that people will notice about you, it is important to know what could cause yellow teeth. When you know the cause, you can take steps to prevent it.


If you find yourself asking, “Why are my teeth yellow?” it could be any of these possible causes.


Natural Aging Process


This is an inevitable truth that you must learn to accept: Your teeth will become yellowish or stained as you age. All humans go through a natural aging process wherein certain parts of the body will wear and age. The same goes for your teeth.


Your teeth come with a protective coating known as enamel. This enamel makes up the outermost layer of your teeth. Several factors can cause the enamel layer to shed off and expose the dentin layer, which has a yellowish-brown color. As the enamel fades, it will cause your teeth to look stained. Thus, it is important to protect the enamel of your teeth to ensure that you can maintain that protective coating for as long as possible.




Tobacco use is another factor that can cause yellow teeth. Using any tobacco products such as cigarettes and pipe smoke can lead to staining your teeth. This is why stopping the use of tobacco products, such as cigarettes, is advocated worldwide. Not only will it damage your teeth and make it look stained, but it can also cause a host of other health disorders.


The tar and nicotine that are present in tobacco products can cause the enamel to weaken. Once the enamel is weak, it will sink to the bottom of your teeth. As a result, it creates stains that are hard to remove.




If you have a chronic disease that requires you to take certain medications, then don’t be surprised if you have yellow teeth. Certain types of antibiotics such as tetracycline and doxycycline are known to cause yellow teeth as one of their side effects, especially when consumed by children. There are also certain types of antihistamines typically recommended for people with high blood pressure that can cause teeth staining. Antipsychotic medications can also cause yellowish teeth.


When you are taking any medications, be sure to ask your doctor if it can cause staining on your teeth as a side effect. If so, discuss the possibility of opting for alternatives to these medications.


Those who are undergoing chemotherapy treatments might notice their teeth turning yellow. Any radiation treatment towards the head and neck areas can result in teeth staining as well.


Excess Fluoride


Fluoride is a beneficial substance as it helps to provide strength to your enamel and prevent the process of tooth decay. But it is important to expose your teeth to fluoride in moderation as an excessive amount of it can cause discoloration.


Fluorosis is the condition wherein there is an excessive amount of fluoride in your teeth. This can cause the appearance of brown stains and streaks on your teeth. This is a common issue in areas where the water source contains high levels of fluoride. It is also important to take a closer look at your supplements as the presence of them can affect the color of your teeth.


Poor Oral Hygiene


This is one of the most common causes of yellow teeth that can be easily prevented or reversed. Lack of brushing, flossing, and use of mouthwash can cause surface stains to accumulate on your teeth over time. Once those stains have accumulated, they become visible and cause a yellowish appearance on your teeth.


This is why dentists advocate the practice of brushing your teeth regularly. Ideally, you need to brush your teeth after every meal. This will ensure that you can remove any surface stains or food debris that can get lodged in between your teeth. It is also important to floss your teeth regularly. This will help to eliminate any food debris or stains that you missed while brushing. To further boost your oral hygiene, always use a mouthwash. This will help to eliminate bacteria and plaque buildup on your teeth.


If possible, schedule a professional cleaning in your dentist’s office at least twice a year. Your dentist will use a special cleaning product and tools to ensure a thorough clean. This will also prevent the buildup of plaque and cavities that can cause tooth decay, which will, in turn, cause teeth discoloration.


Food and Diet


The type of food you eat and the beverages you consume can be a factor in your teeth becoming yellowish. It is, therefore, important to pay close attention to what types of food and drinks can cause staining on your teeth.


Dental experts note that an acid-rich diet can contribute to having yellow teeth. The exposure to acid can accelerate the discoloration process and also weaken your enamel, causing it to look stained. A few examples of acid-rich food items that can cause your teeth to become yellow include berries, carrots, citrus fruits, and beets.


When it comes to beverages, you need to consume small amounts of soda, fruit juices, coffee, and red wine. If you must consume them, you can try using a straw so the liquid does not come into contact with your teeth. If not, it is best to avoid them altogether.




As hard as it may be to accept, having yellowish teeth can also be something that is simply in your genes. Experts agree that you could inherit this dental issue. If your parents or anyone in your family are prone to having yellow teeth, make sure you go the extra mile in keeping up with your oral hygiene. This is to ensure that you do not develop yellowish stains on your teeth.


Identifying the cause of having yellow teeth is the first step towards reversing the process. This is important so that you can know how to prevent it from happening again, as well as the steps you can take to whiten your teeth.


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