Do you have yellowish teeth? Are you tired of covering your smile because your teeth are becoming more and more yellow over time? If your teeth are yellow in color, there are several reasons this may be happening. Rather than just sitting back and letting it happen, perhaps you should get to the root of the problem. Here are the top reasons people have yellow teeth.

For some people it’s all in the genes. Genetic disposition can determine the thickness of the outermost layer of your teeth. If you have thin tooth enamel, which is the outermost layer, the yellowish dentin layer of your teeth will be more visible. Age is the next culprit to yellow teeth, because as we age tooth enamel wears thin, again causing the natural yellow color of dentin to show through your teeth.

Yellow teeth can be caused by certain medications, especially if taken at a young age. If you had tetracycline or doxycycline before the age of eight, you may have permanently banded stains on your teeth. Pregnant women who take the previously mentioned antibiotics can cause yellow staining in her unborn child’s teeth. Certain antihistamines, anti-hypertensive medicines and antipsychotic drugs and products made with chlorhexidine can also cause yellow staining. Certain diseases or infections in pregnant woman can cause tooth yellowing in the child because the problem can affect the way tooth enamel and dentin is developed. Chemotherapy and radiation to the head and neck to treat certain cancers has been linked to yellowing of the teeth.

Fluoride is a good thing, unless you have too much fluoride in your diet or via your oral health care products. Sometimes there can be excessive fluoride in drinking water which will cause yellowish staining on teeth. Children are often guilty of swallowing large amounts of fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash, again causing yellowish stains if done persistently. Certain foods and beverages can cause staining of the teeth. Tooth stains from food and drinks that you consume are not always yellow. Most people don’t realize that even apples and potatoes can cause teeth to yellow.

Tobacco is a common cause for yellow teeth. Not only are cigars, cigarettes and chewing tobacco hazardous to your health, these products wreak havoc on your smile. Tobacco leaves hard to remove extrinsic stains on the enamel of the teeth. The longer you smoke or use chewing tobacco your teeth will continue to yellow over time. Tooth colored fillings can pick up stains (not just yellow) over time. A dentist can buff your filling to remove the inset stains on composite fillings. Unfortunately older silver/amalgam filling can leach out over time causing your teeth to appear dark in color. Of course tooth trauma can cause your tooth to die making it yellowish or dark in color.

It is important to maintain good oral hygiene to keep teeth their brightest. Poor oral home care leads to plague and tartar build up which allows for stains to set in. Proper daily brushing and flossing is the best way to keep your mouth healthy and teeth white in color. If you are struggling with yellow teeth, be sure to speak to your dentist immediately to see if they can help rectify the problem.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care

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