Yellow Teeth and Discoloration: Causes and Treatments

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man with yellow teeth holding young girl Yellow Teeth and Discoloration: Causes and Treatments

Such is the cycle of life–we get older, and so do our teeth. When our bodies’ age, it’s normal for our teeth to become dull or yellow, but not all tooth discoloration is the result of our daily coffee habits.

Here are some of the top reasons your teeth are turning yellow: 

  • Foods and drink – Food such as beets, sweet potatoes, berries, and beverages such as cola, red wine, juices, are all known to stain teeth.  
  • Tobacco/smoking – All forms of tobacco, both smoking and smokeless versions, can cause severe tooth discoloration. It is too soon to tell how vaporizers and other electronic smoking devices can affect teeth color. 
  • Poor oral hygiene – Poor brushing, flossing, and rinsing habits can lead to teeth yellowing and much worse over time. 
  • Disease and treatments – There are some diseases and disease treatments that are known to change the color of your teeth. Many times these types of discoloration are not reversible and might require veneers or similar to restore your smile. 
  • Medications – Certain medications and antibiotics are known to cause discoloration. As mentioned previously, usually, these types of stain are not reversible using zoom teeth whitening and might require veneers or similar treatment to restore your smile.
  • Dental amalgam – Certain dental restorations using amalgam can cause teeth to look grey and dull. 
  • Aging – As we age, tour enamel starts to wear away, revealing the natural yellow color of the dentin underneath. 
  • Genetics – Like so many other human characteristics, genetics plays a role in our dental health, including enamel. The thinner the enamel on the teeth, the more yellow they appear. 
  • Environment – Improper use of fluoride and the amount of fluoride present in tap water can have an impact on tooth color. Although with the popularity of bottled and filtered water in the United States continues to rise, this problem is becoming less of an issue. 
  • Trauma – Trauma to a tooth will almost always result in discoloration. This is a result of damage to the root. 

before and after Zoom teeth whiteningThe real reason our teeth become discolored is not directly caused by consuming foods or tobacco but by the natural degradation of dentin or calcium in teeth that can occur over time. This degradation causes teeth to become pores, allowing colored foods or tobacco to absorb more easily. 

The good news is that steps can be taken to help keep teeth white without changing your daily routine. The best way to reverse teeth yellowing is first to schedule a cleaning and whitening consultation because you don’t want to bleach teeth that are not adequately clean. 

Second, ask your cosmetic dentist what your options are for lighting your teeth: These might include: 

  • Zoom or Laser Teeth Whitening – Using LED light technology, your dentist or dental provider can lighten your teeth 5-7 shades in just one hour or less.
  • At-Home Kits – In some cases your cosmetic dentist will sell a kit that includes everything necessary to keep your smile bright and white. These dental kits typically include an electric toothbrush, custom bleaching trays, whitening toothpaste and mouthwash, and other items recommended for a healthy smile. The intended use for these kits is to maintain a white smile no necessarily as the first line of defense.
  • Strips and Gels – These types of teeth bleaching products are generally not recommended by dentists but are a trendy choice for an over-the-counter solution. These products are known to cause tooth sensitivity if overused.

At Arthur Glosman DDS, we perform and recommend Zoom 2 teeth whitening at our dental spa in Beverly Hills. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact us. 


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