What makes teeth yellow?


Everyone wants to have white teeth. With a set of white teeth, one can feel more confident in everyday life by knowing that their smiles give a sense of good feeling to the people around them. The colour white often represents cleanliness, good hygiene and health. White teeth is also commonly perceived to be a universal sign of attractiveness and youth.


Common causes of yellow teeth

Coffee, tea and red wine are the main culprits that cause yellow teeth in many of our lives. As avoiding these pleasures can be hard, we can aim to reduce their impact on our teeth by brushing our teeth immediately or sipping these drinks through a straw.

While drinking these beverages may be avoided, there is another unavoidable cause of having yellow teeth. It is genetics. Some people will have slightly yellow teeth through genes that they got from their parents. These genes may have been passed down over generations by members of their family. However, the good news is that these genetically-formed yellow teeth are treatable!

Another common reason for yellow teeth is due to aging. As one might have guessed, wear and tear from everyday life could result in stains accumulated over time. This occurs as one grows older, the outer layer of the teeth slowly breaks down and exposes the inner layer beneath called the dentin. The dentin which is slightly more yellow in colour makes our teeth appear yellowish. Not only that, the thinning of the outer layer also allows the teeth to be stained easier by drink or food.

The last common cause is smoking. While smoking may be a form of lifestyle for many people and helps to relieve stress, it actually brings damaging effects to the body. Besides the overall health of an individual, smoking also affects the teeth! Tobacco from smoking discolors the teeth and kills healthy gum tissue.


Whitening toothpaste and mouthwash

One may think that whitening toothpaste and mouthwash contain some chemicals which help whiten the teeth. Sadly, this is not true. FDA regulations allow any product that cleans the surface of the teeth to be classified as "whitening" even though what they actually do is only to clean the surface of your teeth. Cleaning is certainly helpful to remove the yellow stains on your teeth but it does not actually colour the teeth white.


Professional whitening procedures

Professional whitening procedures can certainly provide whitening results but they can be quite expensive and may have undesirable side effects. As these procedures use a higher concentration of active ingredients, they increase the risk of having intense and painful sensitivity that can last for days and even weeks after the procedure.


Over-the-counter whiteners

Inexpensive teeth "whitening," "lightening," or "bleaching" products in the form of strips, liquids, sticks, or gels really are known to be effective. They contain the same active ingredients like the carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to achieve the whitening effect. However, in order to obtain the optimum effect, your teeth need to be regularly brushed and healthy. 


Keep your teeth clean, white and happy!