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Tooth Discoloration: Causes and Treatment

Are your teeth not as white as you would like? Tooth stains and tooth discoloration can occur for a number of reasons. Even those who follow good oral habits can still have it. The good news is, a lot of these stains are preventable and treatable.

Below are some of the common tooth discoloration causes and what you can do to keep your teeth looking their best.

Poor dental hygiene

Not brushing, rinsing, and flossing regularly will not eradicate substances that cause tooth discoloration. Going to your Dallas dentist for regular professional cleanings can help fight yellow teeth.

Tobacco use

This includes chewing tobacco products and smoking. Longtime smokers have brown stains on their teeth. Some studies suggest that e-cigarettes don’t typically cause tooth stain, however, they can be the cause of other issues like gum inflammation or dry mouth, which eventually lead to tooth decay.

Certain foods or drinks

When it comes to staining teeth, certain beverages and foods can be the worst culprits. Drinking too much tea, coffee, wines, colas, and eating some starchy foods like potatoes and pasta can make it challenging to maintain those pearly whites. Berries, although rich in antioxidants, have a lot of tooth staining properties. Pasta sauce and curry can also leave your teeth vulnerable to staining.


Young children can do some damage to their teeth from a fall or a sports accident. Be sure to remind your child to use mouthguards when participating in sports, especially where contact with an object or another person is common.  Adults can also be affected, when an impact or trauma causes decreased blood flow to the tooth, causing the nerves to die.

Age and genetics

Whiter and thicker enamel runs in some families. Age causes the outer layer of enamel to wear away, exposing the dentin that is yellow in color.

Certain medications and treatments

Specific medications discolor teeth, like antipsychotic drugs, antihistamines, and hypertensive medications. Mouthwashes and rinses that contain cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine can also cause tooth stains.

There are some diseases that affect the dentin and enamel and can lead to tooth discoloration, such as those that require chemotherapy and head and neck radiation. Pregnant mothers who needed to take the antibiotic Tetracycline can cause tooth discoloration in their babies. 

Treatment for tooth discoloration

Tooth discoloration doesn’t have a single, ultimate fix, nor is it instant. But you can take some steps to enhance your teeth’s color.

If you are excited to flash those pearly whites, know that there are a number of options that will suit every budget. However, it pays to know which ones are effective and safe. A simple visit to your local drugstore will give you a lot of over-the-counter tooth whitening options, but you might need a professional product or a visit to your Dallas dentist for better results.