Sources of Tooth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration happens for many different reasons. For some, it could be personal habits, but for others, it could be a sign of something deeper. Here, we’ll discuss the sources of it, so that you know what to look for.

First, let’s talk habits. Foods and drink, such as coffees, colas, tea, alcohol, and even some fruits and veggies can stain the teeth. Tobacco use also stains the teeth, making them yellow. Bad hygiene, such as not brushing, flossing, or even rinsing enough can cause discoloration.


Sometimes, it might be something bigger. Disease, for example, can affect the enamel, and the dentin can be discolored. Some treatments for this, such as head and neck radiation along with chemotherapy, and some infections in women who are pregnant can also cause discoloration in both the mother and the infant since it impacts the enamel. Some dental materials, such as amalgam restorations, especially those with sulfide in them can cause the teeth to have a grayish-black color to them.

Then there are medications. Tetracycline and doxycycline are known to make teeth discolored when given to developing children. Some mount rinses that contain chloride can stain teeth. Antihistamines, antipsychotic drugs, and even drugs for high blood pressure can also cause the teeth to be discolored.

Some factors are uncontrollable though. Getting older, for example, causes the outer part of the enamel to get worn down, revealing the yellowing dentin. Some people have naturally thicker or brighter enamel too.

Your environment can play a part as well. If there is too much fluoride from the environment, such as in water, or too much fluoride in what you use, you can cause the teeth to be discolored.

Finally, there is trauma. Damage from a fall can mess up the enamel, and it can cause adult teeth to be discolored too.

So how can you prevent it? Well, as said before some are not preventable, such as getting older and generics, but those that are lifestyle changes, you can change a few habits such as not having as much coffee or quitting smoking can help. If needed, start to brush and floss more, and use a mouthwash that isn’t going to discolor teeth. If you haven’t yet, set up an appointment with the dentist to bet cleaned up by the hygienist every six or so months. You should make sure that if you do have dental appointments, you follow through with them, and make sure that you’re keeping up with your hygiene. If you have too much fluoridated water, do make sure that you take some time and lessen it as well. You’ll be glad that you did.

When it comes to tooth discoloration, some is avoidable, some is not, but you should work to preserve the dentin and enamel that’s there, because when the dentin is exposed, it causes other issues as well, and by learning how to prevent that from happening, you’ll be able to keep your teeth for a whole lot longer.