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What Causes Teeth to Change Colour?

June 7, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — donlandsfamily @ 12:23 am
Closeup of a yellow smile

If you asked hundreds of people what made them insecure about their smile, one of the most common answers you’d get would inevitably be its colour.

That’s because there are plenty of ways that you can start to see your teeth yellow, especially if you’ve let your oral health slip. While professional teeth whitening can often help you to get a whiter smile, there are limits to what it can achieve depending on the type of stain you are dealing with.

With that in mind, here are a few ways that you could start to see your teeth turn yellow, along with what you can do to remedy the situation.

The Two Kinds of Stains

There are plenty of ways to turn a tooth yellow, but for the purposes of dentistry, they’re typically divided into two categories: intrinsic and extrinsic. The difference has to do with where the stains come from, which affects how they can be treated.

Extrinsic Stains

These are what people tend to talk about most often when discussing yellow teeth—stains from your diet or lifestyle choices that settle into the enamel, discolouring it over time. Extrinsic stains can come from:

  • Coffee
  • Red Wine
  • Tea
  • Dark Berries or Fruits
  • Smoking
  • Dark Sauces (e.g. Tomato Sauce, Soy Sauce)

Intrinsic Stains

However, yellow teeth don’t always come from your diet, or even from outside the tooth. Sometimes, teeth can change colour due to a natural thinning of the enamel, or because of chemical changes to its hue. Intrinsic stains can come from:

  • Age: Enamel thins naturally over time, exposing the dark inner layers of the tooth to the outside.
  • Medications: Some antibiotics have been noted to turn the teeth a grey-brown color, especially in children under 8. Some antihistamines also have this effect, as do chemotherapy drugs.
  • Damage: If a tooth has been damaged, a lack of blood flow can cause it to turn grey.

What to Do About Discolouration

No matter what has caused your teeth to darken, there’s likely a cosmetic dental treatment that can help you. Teeth whitening can do wonders on extrinsic stains, but may be a little less effective on intrinsic ones. For them, you may want to talk to your dentist about cosmetic bonding or veneers, both of which can cover up discoloured teeth to give you a brighter smile!

About Our Practice

At Donlands Family Dentistry, we believe that oral healthcare shouldn’t be something anxiety-inducing. You deserve to have your ideal smile, and we make the path to getting it as easy and stress-free as possible for you. We’re a team of experts who have your best interest at heart, so you can rest assured that your entire family’s oral health will be in good hands with us.

If you have any questions about yellow teeth, we can be reached at our website or by phone at 416-551-5224.

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