Skip to main content

6 Things That Cause Yellow Teeth

Ever looked in the mirror and wondered how your teeth got so yellow? Many of us have. Because yellowing can happen gradually, it can easily go overlooked. And while it may be disheartening and confidence-shattering to feel like you’ve lost your best accessory—your bright, white smile—you can get it back. For starters, be aware of what causes yellowing, and how you can avoid or limit exposure to those things.

REASON #1 You’re Getting Older

Your teeth can also start yellowing as a natural part of the aging process. This happens as the strong, white protective coating on teeth, known as enamel, fades over time because of everyday wear and tear on your teeth, which reveals the natural colour of dentin.

REASON #2 You’re a Smoker

Tobacco products, from cigarettes and pipe smoke, stain teeth. These products with continuous use, will darken your teeth over time.

REASON #3 Your Oral Hygiene Is Lacking

When you do not routinely brush, floss and rinse your mouth to remove plaque build-up, this can hasten the discoloration of your teeth.

REASON #4 You’re on Medication

Certain medications, such as the antibiotics doxycycline and tetracycline, can darken the teeth of children younger than 8 years old. Some antihistamines, drugs for high blood pressure and antipsychotic medications can also stain adult teeth. Go over any such potential side effects of the medications you are currently, or may start, taking with your physician.

REASON #5 You Have an Illness

A less common cause of tooth discoloration can be either a disease that affects enamel, or the treatment of a disease, such as chemotherapy and/or radiation used to treat cancer. In this case, the discoloration is more of a brownish colour.

REASON #6 The Yellow Is in Your Genes

It also may be possible that you inherited enamel that is more yellow than that of other people whose genes differ. If you notice your teeth are more yellow than you’d like, you can fix the issue by using any number of whitening strips, toothpastes and LISTERINE® Advanced White to help restore your bright smile.

HEALTHY WHITENING: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are Teeth Naturally White?

Teeth are not naturally white. They are a pearly shade that, as we age, gradually turns more yellow. You see this first when a baby’s white teeth are replaced by permanent teeth that are, by nature, more yellow in colour. As we get older, the outer layer of enamel on the teeth wears down and exposes the dentin layer of the teeth, which is more yellow.

Can My Dentures Yellow Over Time?

Yes, false teeth can absolutely stain and turn colours over time. This is especially true if you smoke, or drink a lot of tea, coffee or red wine. Avoid this scenario by maintaining stellar oral hygiene even when your teeth are false, and brush and soak your dentures regularly while also following the proper steps to clean your dentures.