Why do Teeth Turn Yellow?Dr. Kim | December 28, 2011
We have all seen individuals and perhaps ourselves with a yellow tint to what used to be a nice white color enamel. Interestingly, the yellowing of teeth is not always associated with age. Although the majority of individuals who do have the appearance of yellow teeth are typically older in age, there has been an increase in our youth developing the appearance of yellow dull teeth. With that said, lets look into why teeth turn yellow…..
Yes, teeth can become dull looking and more yellow in appearance as we drink and eat dark colored foods. Soft drinks, coffee, red wine, tea, dark sauces, and certain ethnic foods can certainly cause surface staining on enamel. In most cases, a power toothbrush and frequent visits to the dental hygienist will remove the surface stain leaving the enamel shiny and white in color.
How does enamel become dull and yellow looking?
Over time, the inside of the tooth called the dentin can be seen through enamel because the enamel has been de-mineralized. De-minerialized/thinning enamel is typically caused by acidic foods/drinks along with an acidic oral environment. When the enamel looses it’s minerals it becomes dull in color and the yellow color of the tooth dentin begins to show through.
Genetics also plays a role in the color of our teeth, typically our parents pass on the “shade” of our teeth. The medication Tetracycline mothers take when pregnant can also cause a darkening of enamel in their unborn child. This medication can also cause discoloration of enamel when taken as a child. Tobacco use also causes the enamel to become darkened in appearance.
If you are looking to brighten your smile, please contact my Biological Cosmetic office where we provide both in-office and take-home teeth bleaching treatments. (951)686-3666.
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