Although not usually a sign that anything is wrong or needs treating, yellowing teeth can affect your confidence in your smile.
Luckily, improving the colour of your teeth can be as easy as making some simple changes to what you eat and drink and making a few tweaks to your dental routine.
Here are the top ten causes of yellowing teeth and how to address them:
Sometimes, simply, yellow teeth runs in the family. If you have a parent with yellow teeth, then chances are you’ll have problems with yellow teeth too.
If you have thin enamel on your teeth, the dentin underneath can show through. Dentin naturally is a deep yellow to brownish colour and is underneath the enamel. Dentin is normally covered by a thick layer of white enamel but stains can develop on the enamel too.
Unfortunately, as we age, our teeth normally start to turn yellow, when the enamel starts to wear away from years of chewing and exposure to acids from food and drink. As the enamel thins with age, yellow can develop if the dentin starts to show through but it is not uncommon for teeth to develop a greyish tinge too if they are mixed with a long-lasting food stain.
It is very well-known now that smoking is very detrimental to our overall health and just about every part of the body. The mouth is no exception. Among other more serious complications, cosmetically alone, nicotine products can leave a long-lasting yellow or brown stain on your teeth.
Everyday food can be notoriously bad for staining teeth! Tomato sauces, curries and berries can all stain the enamel. We can’t avoid these foods (life is too short!) but if you are aware of them, you can brush your teeth after eating them or rinse your mouth with water.
Two of the country’s favourite hot drinks are very guilty of staining teeth – tea and coffee. Other culprits are wines, fizzy drinks and other soft drinks with artificial flavours. Always rinse after enjoying them.
Some antibiotics can stain teeth when they’re developing in the gums. If you took certain antibiotics as a child or if your mother took them when pregnant, this could be responsible for a yellow hue.
Fluoride is very good for teeth, but too much fluoride can cause yellow or brownish yellow spots on teeth. Ensure you only consume the recommended amount of fluoride.
Any physical impact to teeth in an accident can crack tooth enamel and potentially even damage the tooth’s interior. If you notice any discolouration after impact or trauma to your teeth, seek advice from your dentist.
10. Tooth grinding
Tooth grinding is on the rise, what with the stressful lives most people have today. It is a completely unconscious habit that can get worse when people are particularly stressed, especially whilst sleeping. Over time, grinding can be harmful to tooth enamel, potentially weakening it to the point of cracking and yellowing. If you think that you may be grinding your teeth, speak to your dentist.