Suffering From Yellow Teeth? These Culprits May Be To Blame

Feb 26, 2016
A discolored smile can be a real confidence killer. After all, your smile is one of the first things people notice, so sporting yellow teeth can put a damper on your social interactions...

Reverse Yellow Teeth and Say “Cheese” With Confidence.

A discolored smile can be a real confidence killer. After all, your smile is one of the first things people notice, so sporting yellow teeth can put a damper on your social interactions. The good news is that it’s totally reversible. The bad news? Everyday decisions, such as the foods and drinks you consume, can lead you right back to square one. Here are some common triggers for yellow teeth and what you can do to make sure your smile stays white and healthy.

What Causes Yellow Teeth?

What Causes Yellow Teeth?

At its thickest, tooth enamel is a natural, white color. However, over time, enamel may wear out and create a translucency that reveals the next layer of the tooth, called the dentin. This layer of the tooth has a slightly yellow tone, so the more worn out enamel becomes, the more visible this yellow tone becomes.

Yes, your teeth are the most invincible part of your body, but even they wear out over time. The tooth’s protective coating can be chipped away as the years pass, which is why elderly people may have a relatively yellow smile. While it’s a completely natural occurrence, there are ways to jumpstart the wearing out of tooth enamel, and it’s all in the way you care for your teeth.

Factors that Increase the Chances of Yellow Teeth

Again, it’s pretty startling to know that your teeth may possibly outlive you. This doesn’t mean everyday life choices don’t play a role in their physical appearance. There are three important factors that determine your chances of developing yellow teeth:

  • Food and drinks choices
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Oral hygiene habits

Food and Drink Choices

This is one of the main culprits of yellow teeth—and, most of the time, it’s something you don’t even realize is harming your smile. These choices include:

  • Sodas, artificial juices and sports drinks: These drinks are high in sugar and acid—two of the main causes of tooth enamel erosion. The artificial coloring in these drinks also stains teeth over time. While one occasional cup of fruit juice won’t cause any instant staining, it’s the continuous consumption of these sugary drinks that poses the real threat—especially soda. A can of your favorite soda, for instance, contains more than 9 tsp of sugar. Not to mention that its ammonia based caramel coloring and extremely high acid levels can harm the mouth and body long after it’s been consumed. Here’s a helpful infographic that depicts just how much of an impact carbonated drinks have on the teeth:

    Sodas, artificial juices and sports drinks

  • Wine (both red and white): Yes, a glass of wine can be a relaxing wind down for many. However, this can actually wind up your teeth’s sensitivity to discoloration. Ever notice how people who drink red wine are left with a reddish tinge in their teeth after a few glasses? This is due to the deeply colored polyphenols found in red wine, which is the main source of tooth yellowing. Even white wine, while light in color, can leave a lasting effect. Its acidic nature and tannins create an unhealthy foundation for tooth enamel and leaves it more vulnerable for other staining agents to attack.
  • Bright sauces and condiments: It may be tempting to lather your food in savory sauces and condiments, but think twice before indulging. Brightly colored sauces, like curries, tomato based sauces and sweet chili, can stick to dental enamel. Table condiments like soy sauce and balsamic vinegar are also major teeth staining agents and should also be brushed away via a routine brushing regimen.
  • Brightly colored fruits and vegetables: This one may come as a surprise since they fall under the “healthy habits” category of everyday diets. Certain berries and vegetables, such as beets, blueberries, raspberries and pomegranates, are packed with polyphenols that can cause tooth staining.

Medical Conditions

While not as prevalent as a sugary, acidic diet, certain medical conditions can cause teeth to yellow over time. Chemotherapy and radiation for certain cancers are known to cause yellow teeth. Certain medications are also suspected to increase the chances of yellow teeth, such as treatment for asthma and high blood pressure.

Oral Hygiene Habits

It’s pretty obvious that a poor or nonexistent oral hygiene habit will yield a yellow smile. Did you know that even those who brush immediately after consuming teeth staining foods are at risk? Tooth enamel is at its weakest after consuming foods that pose a threat to it, and brushing away at enamel at its most vulnerable stage actually wears it down faster. To minimize the threat to tooth enamel, try drinking a glass of water after eating or drinking teeth staining foods or drinks. Water helps wash away acidic and staining compounds and does wonders for keeping teeth white.

Preventing Yellow Teeth

If you find yourself consuming one of the above mentioned foods or drinks, or are taking medication that causes yellow teeth, dental visits and positive at-home oral hygiene habits are crucial to keep tooth enamel safe.

Don’t skip visits to the dentist. Even a simple teeth cleaning procedure can improve the color of teeth. While some people risk the quality of their smile for fear of visiting the dentist, it all comes down to choosing a dentist that can provide a comfortable experience while helping you keep teeth clean and free of discoloration.

Switch up your diet. You may sometimes be faced with the desire to consume foods and drinks that are otherwise unhealthy to your teeth, and that’s ok. While any dentist would suggest staying away from these culprits altogether, try minimizing their exposure to your teeth to lessen the chances of long term impact.

Try a teeth whitening procedure. At Beaufils Dental, many of our qualified patients turn to our teeth whitening procedure as a way to change the color of their smile. This procedure can yield results in as little as a few visits.

Prevention Requires Action!

The first step to keeping the healthy, white hue of your smile is to take action. Beaufils Dental offers quality teeth cleaning and teeth whitening procedures to help ward off yellow teeth. Our Cooper City dental office can help evaluate the root causes for tooth discoloration and provide options on how to reverse this unwanted condition. Call us today at 954-252-1390 to schedule your appointment and learn more about how to achieve a whiter smile for years to come.

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