Understand and Treat the Yellowing of Teeth

African american woman wearing yellow sweater at kitchen smiling confident showing and pointing with fingers teeth and mouth. Health concept.

While most everybody wants to be able to flash a pearly white smile, that perfect white smile is not necessarily natural, as few people are genetically predisposed to having bright white teeth. In fact, most people’s teeth are naturally a couple of shades darker, and, especially as we age, tinged with yellow or grey.

The biggest, natural influencer, of your teeth color is the shade and thickness of your teeth’s enamel. The natural color of the enamel is generally a bluish-white; however, the enamel is translucent, which can capture the tint of the underlying dentin depending upon the enamel’s thickness. Dentin is generally dark yellow in color, so the thinner your enamel, the more yellow your teeth may appear. This also explains age-related yellowing, as the enamel in most people’s teeth thins as we age due to usage and the acidic foods and drinks we consume. Some people’s tooth enamel is also naturally porous, which can increase the level of tooth staining.

Staining, the Other Major Cause of Teeth Yellowing

What we eat, drink or otherwise consume is the biggest non-genetic cause of teeth yellowing. Among the biggest culprits in teeth staining are:

  • Tobacco—smoked or chewed
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Red wine
  • Colas
  • Chocolate
  • Curries
  • Tomato sauces
  • Soy sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Beets
  • Some berries

While teeth staining from these products can generally be removed, stains caused by tobacco, coffee and tea are the most difficult to correct. Along with yellow nicotine staining, smoking is also believed to cause the gums to recede, and enhances the likelihood of gingivitis and periodontis.

Poor Oral Hygiene Also Leads to Yellowing of Teeth

When the yellowing or greying of your teeth is accompanied by a sticky coating, this is generally a sign that plaque and tartar are starting to build up, suggesting that you haven’t been brushing properly or enough, and haven’t been to the dentist lately. Not only is this plaque and tartar buildup unsightly, but it is unhealthy and can lead to periodontal disease and other dental complications.

Proper brushing and regular dental visits with professional cleaning and polishing can help stave off the yellowing of teeth. For those already dealing with yellow or otherwise stained teeth, your dentist may also offer professional teeth whitening options to brighten up your smile. Island Tower Dentistry offers customized and personalized teeth whitening treatment options to its patients in southwest Florida. These professional options are generally believed to be much more effective than over-the-counter remedies offered in stores. Island Tower Dentistry’s customized at-home whitening allows patients to precisely control the level of whitening. Additionally, our treatment can be tailored to account for teeth sensitivity to ensure that the process does not cause too much discomfort.

The dental-care experts at Island Tower Dentistry have extensive experience with both the functional elements of oral health as well as the aesthetic factors that go into making a great smile. We have years of experience helping people in the Marco Island, Florida area brighten their smiles while enhancing their oral health. To learn more about what the Island Tower team can do for you, contact us today at 239-394-1004 to make an appointment!