What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

Tooth discoloration can do a lot to dull your smile—sapping your overall self confidence. In this post we’ll cover the common causes of tooth discoloration.

toasting with two glasses of red wine


There is one cause of tooth discoloration that can easily be avoided by controlling your diet. Foods with rich colors can stain the enamel, the outer layer of your teeth. The culprits include vibrant foods and drinks like coffee, red wine, berries, and tomatoes sauce.


Another substance to avoid, tobacco. Tooth enamel is pourius, and as a result it is susceptible to stains. When you smoke a cigarette and the nicotine interacts with oxygen it produces a yellow effect, thereby staining your teeth. Just another great reason to quit smoking.

Intrinsic Discoloration

Stains from coffee and cigarettes fall under the category of extrinsic stains, that is, they affect the outer layer of the teeth, the enamel. There are other causes of tooth discoloration known as intrinsic stains, which effect the inner layer of the tooth, the dentin. Causes of yellowing of the dentin include over-exposure to fluoride as a child, trauma, or the use of tetracycline antibiotics as a child. Typically, intrinsic discoloration is tougher to treat.

Aging Teeth

Just like our skin and our hair, our teeth show our age. As we get older, that dentin yellows naturally. Concurrently, our enamel wears and thins. The result is a change in the appearance of the teeth, whether it be a yellow or brown tint, or marks of discoloration.

Achieve Beautiful White Teeth with Parkside Family Dentistry

If your teeth are making you feel less-than your best, it’s time to fix that. Here at Parkside Family Dental we have options that will provide you with a megawatt smile. At our office we offer both porcelain veneers and professional whitening. Give us a call today and we will set up a consultation to figure out which option will work best for you.

Contact us for more dental tips and ways to promote healthy teeth!

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