Five Reasons Why You Have Stained Teeth and What You Can Do About it

Oral health is one of the growing health problems in the United States. The prevalence of oral diseases continues to increase, and poor oral health can significantly impact the quality of life. Most American adults have experienced cavities once in their adult life. Some people also have numerous dental disorders, such as tooth decay and gum diseases.

However, some of the problems that plague people are primarily aesthetic. One of the most common is teeth staining.

Yellow Teeth and Other Discoloration

The discoloration of the teeth, also known as teeth staining, is relatively common in the United States. A lot of people suffer from this dental problem. In addition, a decent amount of Americans say that they are unhappy with their teeth’s appearance because of discoloration.

The most common teeth discoloration is yellow. However, there are also other types of teeth discoloration, such as:

  • Brown or yellow spots on the teeth
  • Grayish-blue stains on the teeth
  • Reddish stains on the teeth

These stains can afflict anyone, regardless of age. People with stained teeth are a common sign of poor dental hygiene. It can also be a symptom of other dental problems, such as cavities and tooth decay. But most of the time, the yellow discoloration of the teeth shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. Yellow teeth don’t indicate weaker teeth. Some studies even suggest it’s the natural color of people’s teeth, but that’s still debatable.

There are many reasons why your teeth would have some discoloration. Here are some of them.


If your family members have yellow teeth, you might as well have them. Their genes are likely to be passed down to you.

One proof that genetics play a significant role in the discoloration of teeth is that many Southeast Asian countries have been reported to have yellow teeth discoloration. Although this doesn’t mean that all people from this region will have yellow teeth, it’s still a strong indication that it’s in their genes. It also doesn’t mean that they have weaker teeth than the rest of the world.


As you age, the outermost layer of your teeth, also known as the enamel, starts to wear down. The enamel is one of the strongest substances in your body. However, it’s not impenetrable.

It will start to thin out as you age, revealing the inner layer of your teeth, which is called dentin. Dentin is yellow, which will make your teeth look yellow as well.

Food and drinks

What you consume also plays a significant role in the discoloration of your teeth. Foods and highly pigmented drinks can cause your teeth to become stained. Here is a list of some of them:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Wine
  • Berries
  • Soy sauce
  • Curry
  • Beets

Although consuming these things can only temporarily stain your teeth, continuous consumption can lead to permanent discoloration.

smiley woman with yellow dirty teeth holding cigarette


Smoking is also one of the leading causes of teeth staining. The tar and nicotine in cigarettes can cause your teeth to become yellow and stained. Smoking can also cause other dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.

Underlying Dental Problems

Teeth staining can also be a symptom of an underlying dental problem. It is essential to visit your dentist regularly so that they can check for any signs of these problems. Some of the underlying dental issues that can cause teeth staining are:

  • Cavities
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease


The treatment for teeth staining will depend on the underlying cause. For example, if the discoloration is due to food and drinks, it can be treated by practicing good oral hygiene. Having good oral hygiene means brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. You should also avoid consuming foods and drinks that can stain your teeth.

If the discoloration is due to smoking, you should try to quit smoking. Of course, this is easier said than done, but it’s essential to try. There are many resources available to help you quit smoking.

However, if the discoloration is considered permanent, you’re going to need cosmetic treatment. Dental bleaching is one of the best cosmetic treatments that can deal with teeth stains and discoloration. It is a safe and effective way to whiten your teeth. It uses a bleaching agent to remove the stains and discoloration from your teeth.

Another cosmetic treatment that can deal with discoloration is veneers. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain placed on the surface of your teeth. They cover up any imperfections on your teeth, including discoloration.

Teeth discoloration is the result of many different factors. Therefore, it is essential to visit your dentist regularly so that they can check for any underlying dental problems. Thankfully, there are many treatments available that can help you deal with teeth stains and discoloration.

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