Main Reasons for Discolored Teeth

The 21st century brought the technological revolution to a new level where everyone does everything possible to get nice photos for posting on Instagram and getting a lot of likes. While for those excellent photos, one definitely needs to have a perfect smile to respond to the photographer’s “Cheese”. One step toward a perfect smile is having perfectly white teeth.

However, not all of us can be proud enough to say that their teeth are perfectly white and shiny. Do you know what is the reason for that? That’s exactly what we’re going to find out in this article.

Why does the tooth color turn abnormal?

According to MedlinePlus (U.S. National Library of Medicine), the tooth color is considered as abnormal if it’s not white or at least yellowish-white.

There exist several reasons for teeth to change their initial color. The most common ones among them are:

Enamel Thinning

It’s a well-known fact that the outer layer of our teeth covering the deeper structure and having almost white color is called enamel.

The discoloration of teeth is always connected with the enamel covering it. The most common way of the discoloration is the enamel thinning. That can happen due to many factors but not all of them are under one’s control. Among the most common reasons are aging, gum diseases and acids/acidic foods.

Besides, there are people who are born with enamel that is naturally thinner than it should be. So you can even blame genetics for your teeth discoloration sometimes.


This group of teeth color-changers on its turn is divided into 2 major groups.

Extrinsic Stains:

A big amount of our favorite foods and drinks leave extrinsic stains on tooth enamel after them. The good news is that those types of stains can easily be removed or corrected.

The major reason for teeth yellowing is the lifestyle we choose to follow. For example, smoking or frequent use of coffee and tea are always there to leave a mark on the surface of one’s tooth enamel.

Actually, it’s important to note that any food or drink which usually leaves stains on our clothes is going to do the same on the tooth enamel. The reason is those items are enriched with chromogens, pigment-producing substances that usually stick to tooth enamel.

However, a 2014 study published in one of the editions of the International Journal of Dental Hygiene states that adding milk to your tea can lower its chances of leaving stains. That is explained by the huge amount of proteins that milk contains.

Although, as stated above, the extrinsic stains are easy to clean, not taking good care of teeth regularly (e.g. forgetting to brush or floss) can prevent the removal of color changing substances which can end up producing plaque on teeth, resulting in total discoloration of the tooth.

Intrinsic Stains:

The second group of stains is the intrinsic ones. These types of stains are produced on dentin (the inner structure of a tooth lying right under enamel) making them much harder to remove.

Intrinsic stains can occur due to some medications all of us take throughout our lives. However, under the greatest threat of getting intrinsic stains are the children who take antibiotics tetracycline or doxycycline in between their teeth development process (approximately under the age of 8).

According to the
Mayo Clinic, another big threat for child’s teeth discoloration due to intrinsic stains are women who take tetracycline during their pregnancy (especially after the 4th month) or while breastfeeding.

As for adults, using mouthwashes filled with chlorhexidine, a compound which is really good for reducing different types of bacteria, can result in brown discolorations on teeth.

Illnesses and Injuries

The least common, but anyway quite possible reasons for teeth discoloration are illnesses and injuries. Although, it’s fortunate that not all of them can have a result on teeth color.

Yellowing can occur after suffering a really high fever at a young age due to an infection. Neonatal jaundice is yet another severe reason for teeth color-changing.

As a child, all of us suffered from a lot of falls or sports injuries but we never thought that it can end up being a reason for tooth discoloration. Severe injuries during the age of teeth development process can affect the teeth color and result in greyish appearance. As for adults, all the injuries that affect nerves and neurotic systems can also have their presence in the problem of teeth discoloration.

Well, this is mostly all for you to know about many possible reasons for tooth discoloration. What is left is to find ways of teeth-whitening at home using natural ingredients. But that’s a topic for another article on blogette and it’ll be out soon!

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