7 Factors Leading to Teeth Discoloration

Healthy Teeth

Teeth discoloration and staining can be caused by a number of different factors, both from inside the tooth as well as from the exterior of the tooth. There are seven causes of teeth discoloration that may be prevented, or treated to minimize and eliminate the disfiguring discoloration of your teeth. Stains may be brown, gray, yellow, or even in the form of spots with different colors present. Factors that can lead to tooth discoloration are listed below.

1. Food and Beverages

Food and Beverages

Many foods and beverages contain ingredients and colors that can contribute to tooth discoloration. Coffee is a common culprit, and so is tea. Foods such as berries, dark sauces like soy sauce, and different curry dishes can cause stains on your teeth as well. Foods and drinks which are hot or cold can cause more problems, because these temperatures cause your tooth surfaces to expand and contract, opening the pores for easier access to stain contributing items. If you consume these foods and beverages frequently, make sure to brush your teeth more often to prevent these substances from settling on your teeth and discoloring them.

2. Tobacco Use

Tobacco Use

The use of tobacco can contribute to tooth discoloration. Whether you smoke cigarettes, chew tobacco, use snuff, or use any form of tobacco products this can lead to tooth staining and discoloration. In addition these products will cause your teeth to become weaker, and more susceptible to damage and cavities. Tobacco will lower your immune system and germ fighting abilities, making bacteria on your teeth a bigger threat.

3. Bad Oral Hygiene

Bad Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is crucial to keep your teeth white and looking good. Brush twice a day and floss at least once every day. You can use a mouthwash like Listerine after you brush, to eliminate bacteria in your mouth and rinse off any leftover substances on your teeth.

4. Drugs and Medications

Drugs and Medications

Some medications and illegal street drugs can cause your teeth to become discolored from internal sources. Antibiotics are a big cause of stains on your teeth, and many other prescribed drugs can have the same effects as well. Illegal street drugs such as crack cocaine and amphetamines can actually contribute to tooth discoloration, damage, decay, and eventually tooth loss, because these drugs rob the nutrients you need for healthy teeth and cause you to eat an unhealthy diet.

5. Trauma and Damage to Teeth

Trauma and Damage to Teeth

Damage or trauma to your teeth can cause discoloration, too. A tooth that has any chipped enamel or broken areas allows the tooth to become darker at these points, and can be unsightly. A dead nerve or root canal without a cap being fitted can also cause darker areas and discolorations on your teeth. Make sure to get proper dental care for any tooth damage, and get regular checkups and work that is needed to minimize the chances of your teeth becoming discolored or stained.

6. Genetics


Your genetic makeup will play a big part in discoloration of teeth. Some people are naturally born with strong white teeth that resist staining and discolorations, while others start off with teeth that are weaker and may easily end up with discolored teeth. Look at your family members, like your parents and siblings, because your teeth will usually have the same strengths and weaknesses as theirs. Even if you have genes for poor teeth, good oral hygiene and regular visits to the doctor can keep your smile and teeth looking great.

7. Aging


As you grow older, your teeth become older as well. Over your lifetime your teeth will become more susceptible to staining and damage. Good oral hygiene when you are young can minimize these effects, and allow you to live to an old age with all your teeth in perfect condition, without stains and discolorations. As you age your teeth wear down more, and this allows substances to reach further. Frequent brushing and rinsing can prevent even the most discoloring food or beverage from causing issues, no matter what your age is.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 at 12:09 pm and is filed under Nutrition News.

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