What causes a tooth to become discolored?

People who have discolored teeth may feel embarrassed to smile and may experience considerable shame as a result. It is crucial to keep in mind that no one has naturally flawlessly white teeth, and it is common for them to get duller with age. The natural aging process causes teeth to seem discolored when the outer enamel wears away and reveals the underlayer’s natural dentin color. However, significant lifestyle variables also contribute significantly to tooth discoloration, therefore it is critical to be aware of them.

Why do teeth get discolored?

Most people wish they could smile with brilliant white smiles on their faces. Several factors might cause your teeth to become discolored. Some things are beyond our control, including becoming older or having accidents while we are young that might affect how our tooth enamel develops. Therefore, it is crucial to talk to your dentist about any intentions you have for teeth whitening.

Your dentist will be able to determine if your tooth darkening is only lifestyle-related staining, such as from drinking too much coffee, or whether it may be more of a dental health issue. Even though bleaching is typically done for aesthetic purposes, your dentist may advise you on the best course of action for your stains.

The good news is that correcting dental discoloration is frequently possible. That justifies working toward a radiant white grin.

Stains on teeth caused by lifestyle habits:

Foods and drinks: Coffee, tea, colas, wines, and some starchy foods such as pasta or potatoes, can create conditions that cause staining.

Tobacco use: Smoking or chewing tobacco can stain teeth.

Tooth stains caused by dental health:

Poor dental hygiene: Plaque and food stains can accumulate if you forget to clean and floss your teeth. Skipping regular cleanings by a dentist can also cause stains to appear.

Medications: Certain medicines have long been recognized to stain developing children’s teeth. Medicines like doxycycline and tetracycline may affect how enamel develops in children under the age of eight. Teeth can also become stained by mouthwashes and rinses that include cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine. Drugs that are antipsychotic, antihistamines (like Benadryl┬«), and hypertension may discolor teeth.

Dental materials: Some amalgam restorations, particularly those made of silver sulfide-containing materials, might give your teeth a grayish-black tint.

Aging: Your teeth’s outer coat of enamel wears away with age, revealing the tooth’s yellow dentin. As you get older, the dentin in your teeth also increases, reducing the pulp size. The tooth becomes less translucent, giving off a darker appearance.

Genetics: Some families tend to have whiter and thicker enamel.

Disease: Teeth can become discolored because of illnesses that stop the healthy growth of dentin, the more porous “yellower” core underneath the enamel, and dental enamel, the white outer layer of your teeth. Chemotherapy and radiation to the head and neck are two medical procedures that can stain teeth. Certain diseases can affect the development of your baby’s enamel and discolor their teeth in pregnant mothers.

Environment: Fluorosis, which appears as white spots on teeth, can be brought on by excessive fluoride exposure during tooth development, whether from environmental sources (high fluoride levels in water) or from excessive use (fluoride treatments, rinses, toothpaste).

Trauma: Children might get smacked in the mouth when playing sports. If they are younger than eight, the injury may prevent the production of enamel. Adult teeth can also become discolored by trauma if a sports injury or other impact reduces blood supply to the tooth or kills the nerve.

How to Prevent Tooth Discoloration


The easiest strategy to stop tooth discoloration is to change your lifestyle choices, such as quitting smoking and drinking coffee. Additionally, you may avoid teeth stains and discoloration by:

Drinking water frequently: Drinking water is essential, especially after meals. Food particles that cause discoloration are displaced as a result.

Using a straw: Drinking bright or dark-colored beverages with a straw can minimize contact with your teeth.

Following a healthy diet: Green, leafy vegetables, nuts, cheeses, yogurts, and foods rich in fiber can strengthen enamel and prevent tooth discoloration.

Following a good dental hygiene routine: Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time and flossing once a day.

Getting a dental cleaning: Dental cleaning is suggested every 6 months.

How to fix discolored teeth

You could feel embarrassed if your teeth are discolored. Instead of flashing your smile as you should, you want to conceal it. Some dental professionals provide high-quality cosmetic surgery to guarantee you have the stunning smile you desire. The many dental treatments for stained teeth include the ones listed below:

Professional teeth whitening: Compared to over-the-counter whitening creams, it is considerably more favored. Uneven whitening is caused by the one-size-fits-all nature of many over-the-counter whitening products. Additionally, the bleaching chemical may get up on your gums and affect their sensitivity. That is avoided with the aid of professional whitening.

Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers are ideal if you need a more long-lasting whitening option or if you have stains that will not go away with conventional therapy. You might develop tenacious stains that defy conventional treatment, usually because of specific drugs. A thin dental ceramic shell known as a porcelain veneer covers the front and sides of your tooth. They can cover the entire discolored tooth.

The best veneers are made of porcelain because they are sturdy and stain resistant. They provide a long-lasting remedy for tooth discoloration. They are formed and proportioned to fit in effortlessly and may be color-matched to the rest of your smile. Several teeth or just a few affected teeth may receive veneers.

Dental bonding: If you are not ready for a long-term solution, it is a financially sensible decision and a strong substitute for porcelain veneers. A biocompatible resin serves as the adhesive. It is possible to mold and mold this resin to fit any discolored teeth. Additionally, the resin may be made as white as you wish or colored to match the rest of your grin.

Dental bonding can be completed in a single office visit. Your tooth’s surface has been treated so that the resin may attach to it. Your tooth is painted with resin and customized to your preferences. Once you are satisfied with the outcome, the resin is hardened using a special light. It has been polished to match the rest of your smile’s natural gloss.


To sum up, it is highly recommended to visit your dentist often for checkups so that you are informed of the condition of your teeth. Dentists are able to prevent issues in addition to solving them.