Why our teeth become discolored and Yellow

happy girl have fun with a tooth floss. tooth care. white smile

Bright white teeth are considered a sign of health, youth and beauty.

Americans spend countless dollars trying to get brighter teeth. You can do treatments at home or get whitening procedures from a dentist, but prevention is the best treatment.

But what causes teeth to turn yellow in the first place, and what can you do to avoid it?

Well, it’s actually the enamel on a tooth that is white. Enamel is the covering that protects the tooth. However, dentin – the tissue that covers the nerves, blood vessel and root of a tooth – is yellow. When the white enamel is weakened, the yellow dentin underneath is exposed. The enamel can also become discolored by consuming food and drink that stain.

There are several causes of enamel weakening or discoloration:

  1. Age
  2. Genetics
  3. Diet
  4. Oral Hygiene



As you get older, the white enamel on your teeth will naturally weaken. Which explains why our society tends to correlate bright teeth with youth. Your DNA also will have an impact on the natural pigment of your teeth and how susceptible they are to staining and enamel breakdown.

But although these first two causes are not things you can control, the next two are behavioral and thus definitely something you can manage to improve the appearance of your teeth.



“The most effective way to strengthen and brighten your teeth is to no engage in or limit those activities that are the number one culprits in breaking down enamel and thus causing issues.” Dr. Erin Meyers of Bolingbrook Dental Specialists. “Of all the issues we treat here in our office, I would say that teeth whitening procedures such as Xoom and other teeth bleaching methods are the number one requested treatments as well as number one concern across all age groups. But what people don’t seem to understand is that 80% of tooth discoloration is simply due to lifestyle and bad habits that when corrected will allow for a much healthier smile.”

Keep in mind that smoking, food and drinks can directly stain your teeth. Stop smoking tobacco completely, and try to limit your consumption of dark drinks such as red wine, coffee and tea. You may be able to prevent staining from dark soda by drinking them through a straw.

Just as there are foods that can stain and weaken your enamel, there are foods that can help whiten and strengthen your teeth. Crunchy fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C, such as carrots, apples and celery, can help remove plaque. Strawberries and lemon juice can reduce staining.



Your oral hygiene is very important. You need to establish a cleaning routine and stick to it. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and use mouth waste or a home treatment to help reduce plaque. Get regular dental checkup and cleanings.


Once your teeth have lost their luster, there are many treatments, methods and procedures to brighten them back up again. But those can be costly, time-consuming, and potentially harmful. Preventing your teeth from getting stained and dull is the best way to go. See your local dentist regularly and adapt good diet and hygiene habits to help prevent those teeth from getting dull and yellow.


For more information, come in and see us today.