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What are the top causes of yellow teeth?

There are more causes of tooth discoloration than you might think – but there are also plenty of ways you can protect your smile.

Poor oral hygiene

Plaque and bacteria will cause yellow teeth if they are not regularly removed with a good daily oral health routine. That means brushing for two minutes twice per day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily.

Some medications

Blood pressure medication, antihistamines for treating allergies and certain other drugs can be a source of yellow teeth. If you’re concerned a medication is yellowing your teeth, speak with your dentist or physician to discuss options.

Certain foods and drinks

Items with a deep color like tomato sauce, berries, curry spices, coffee, tea, dark sodas and beers and red wine can cause unwanted stains. To help keep your mouth clean:

  • Wash these items down with water every few bites or drinks.
  • Enjoy them with crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots and celery to stimulate saliva production.

Trauma or teeth grinding

  • To protect your teeth and gums from injury, wear a mouth guard and other appropriate safety gear when you play sports or physical games.
  • To reduce teeth grinding, you can try limiting caffeine, practicing relaxation techniques like meditation or speaking with your dentist about a night guard.

Tobacco use

The nicotine, tar and other chemicals in tobacco products can yellow your teeth very quickly, in addition to raising your risk for many serious oral and overall health problems.

Genetics and aging

There’s not much you can do about your genetics, but some people have naturally thicker or whiter tooth enamel due to DNA.

As for aging, your tooth enamel will naturally wear down over time, exposing the yellower dentin underneath. While you can’t prevent age-related discoloration, you can certainly take preventive measures to slow it down. Having dental sealants, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoiding carbonated or acidic beverages can help limit the erosion.

If daily oral health habits along with other best practices don’t seem to be helping with your discoloration, it’s recommended you consult your dentist. They can determine the cause of the problem and help answer any questions if you are interested in tooth whitening options.