7 reasons why your teeth may be yellow

It’s time you gave it a little more thought and figured out what’s causing the yellowing of your teeth in the first place.

Myupchar December 10, 2019 12:14:44 IST
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7 reasons why your teeth may be yellow

You must have seen many advertisements where the toothpaste companies promise to whiten your teeth in no time. But don’t we all agree that think prevention is better than cure? It’s time you gave it a little more thought and figured out what’s causing the yellowing of your teeth in the first place. Here are seven different causes behind yellowing of teeth:

7 reasons why your teeth may be yellow

Representational image. Image source: Getty Images.

1. Poor oral hygiene 

This one is pretty obvious. Plaque and calculus (hard tartar) are the main reason behind yellowish-brown deposits on the surface of your teeth. These deposits are seen in people who don’t brush regularly, properly or have really bad oral hygiene. They are also prone to develop gum diseases and cavities.

2. Food and drinks

Turmeric is an ingredient which is used in every other Indian dish and even has a host of health benefits associated with it. But, on the downside, turmeric can cause yellowing of teeth. Berries and soy sauce also lead to staining of teeth. Drinks like sodas, coffee, tea and even wine slowly erode the outer layer of teeth called enamel and seep into the inner tubules, thus causing the teeth to stain.

3. Smoking

While smoking, the tar and nicotine form a dark brown coloured layer of tartar over the surface of the teeth which is very difficult to remove. This tar also causes wearing of the enamel (outer layer of teeth), thus making them weaker and vulnerable to damage and infections.

4. Fluorosis

Fluorosis is a condition that changes the appearance of the enamel in children as a result of being exposed to too much fluoride. It occurs in children whose permanent teeth are still being formed. It causes yellow pigmentation on the surface of permanent teeth. This pigmentation cannot be treated with bleaching.

5. Medicines

Antibiotics like tetracycline, usually prescribed for bacterial infections of the skin, intestines, respiratory tract, and urinary tract, can, unfortunately, lead to staining of teeth. The staining starts as yellow and turns dark brown over time by exposure to light. It is extremely difficult to treat internal staining of teeth since it affects the dentin, the layer below the enamel.

6. Wearing of teeth

The outer layer of a tooth is called the enamel. Dentin is a yellow coloured layer present beneath the enamel. In case of wearing of enamel, the tooth starts looking yellow because of dentin’s pigmentation. This pigmentation cannot be treated with dental bleaching or cleaning.

7. Defective formation of permanent teeth

Some disorders of teeth occur during the development of permanent teeth which may lead to yellowing: 

a) Enamel hypoplasia: This is a deficiency of enamel seen in children whose permanent teeth are still being formed. It leads to yellow-white spotting on the surface of the teeth. Teeth with enamel hypoplasia are prone to get stained easily.

b) Amelogenesis imperfecta: This is another disorder that leads to yellowish-brown pigmentation of teeth. In this condition, teeth appear to be unusually small, discoloured, pitted and prone to rapid wear and breakage. 

Neither dental cleaning nor dental bleaching can help correct these disorders. Other alternatives like dental veneers and zirconia crowns can help in masking the surface of these eroded teeth.

For more information, please read our article on Teeth Whitening At Home

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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