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Dentistry 2023

Yellow teeth: 7 main causes and what to do

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Yellow teeth: 7 main causes and what to do
Yellow teeth: 7 main causes and what to do

The yellowing of teeth can be caused by several factors, from genetic inheritance, which determines the thickness and color of tooth enamel, to aging, which leads to enamel wear, leaving the dentin, which is more yellow, exposed.

Furthermore, the use of antibiotics, excessive exposure to fluoride, in addition to smoking, or excessive consumption of pigmented beverages such as coffee or soft drinks, can yellow teeth or cause yellow stains.

Depending on the cause, simple measures such as brushing your teeth correctly or flossing daily can prevent or reduce the yellow color of your teeth. However, it is always important to consult the dentist for a complete evaluation of the teeth and, if necessary, to carry out a more appropriate treatment, which may include teeth whitening or scaling, for example.

The main causes for the appearance of yellow teeth are:

1. Genetics

Genetic inheritance is a factor that can affect the color of teeth, as well as eye color and skin tone, for example, since genes determine the thickness of tooth enamel, which when it is thinner, it can leave the dentin layer more exposed. As dentin naturally has a yellowish color, teeth appear more yellow.

Furthermore, there are two hereditary genetic diseases that can cause yellow teeth, such as dentinogenesis imperfecta or amelogenesis imperfecta, which affect the development of dentin or tooth enamel.

What to do: you should consult the dentist to make a more detailed evaluation and understand the most appropriate treatment, which can include from tooth whitening, performed in the office, to placement of crowns, restorations or dental implants.Find out how teeth whitening is done in the office.

2. Poor oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene can lead to a multiplication of bacteria naturally found in the mouth, as it facilitates the accumulation of food debris between the teeth. Thus, bacteria can easily proliferate in the mouth, giving rise to plaque and tartar, leaving teeth yellow, especially in the spaces between teeth.

What to do: brush your teeth with a soft or electric toothbrush at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day, to remove food debris that accumulates on the teeth. However, if the tartar is already very accumulated, forming a yellowish and hardened substance, it is recommended to undergo a scaling treatment or professional cleaning, which can be done in the dentist's office.

3. Tooth enamel wear

Tooth enamel wear can lead to greater exposure of dentin, leaving teeth more yellow. This wear usually occurs as a result of a natural aging process, which is why it is more common in older people.

However, some conditions can accelerate enamel wear, leaving teeth yellow earlier and in young people, such as bruxism, gastroesophageal reflux or even brushing teeth too hard, for example.

What to do: you should consult the dentist for the treatment of bruxism or the gastroenterologist for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux. In addition, it is important to brush your teeth correctly, without applying too much force or using an electric toothbrush, for example. Here's how to brush your teeth properly.

4. Use of antibiotics

Some antibiotics, such as tetracycline or doxycycline, can yellow teeth or cause yellow stains, as they settle on the teeth, especially when used by children before 8 years of age, as it is a stage in which the teeth are still are developing.

In addition, minocycline, which is a tetracycline-derived antibiotic used to treat acne in teenagers or adults, can also make teeth more yellow.

What to do: the yellowing of the teeth must be reported to the doctor who prescribed the antibiotic, so that the treatment can be reevaluated and the possibility of exchanging it for another one. Drugs should not be discontinued without the doctor's knowledge. In addition, it is important to make an evaluation with the dentist who can recommend laser teeth whitening, for example.

5. Consumption of food or drinks with pigments

Some foods and beverages, such as coffee, black tea, green tea, chocolate, red wine, sports drinks, soft drinks or sauces, for example, contain pigments that can adhere to tooth enamel, staining its surface and leaving teeth with a yellowish color.

Generally, this yellow discoloration on the tooth occurs especially with excessive or regular consumption of these foods or drinks.

What to do: excessive or daily consumption of these drinks or foods should be avoided whenever possible.However, for people who cannot avoid drinking coffee or teas daily, a good tip is to mix coffee with milk, or drink a little water right after, to remove traces of coffee that may be on the teeth. Learn more about what foods to avoid to prevent yellow teeth.

6. Smoking Habit

Smoking is one of the main causes of yellow teeth or the appearance of yellow stains on the teeth, and occurs mainly due to exposure of teeth to nicotine and tar present in cigarettes. In addition, smoking also facilitates the accumulation of bacterial plaque, contributing to the development of yellow teeth.

What to do: You should see your dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned to remove tartar. In addition, it is advised to stop smoking to prevent teeth from turning yellow, in addition to other serious he alth problems. Check out some tips on how to quit smoking.

7. Excessive exposure to fluoride

Excessive exposure to fluoride during tooth development, whether from dental application, excess amount of toothpaste, or accidental consumption of fluoride toothpaste, can also lead to yellow stains on the teeth.

Fluoride is an important chemical element to prevent teeth from losing their minerals, and prevent wear caused by bacteria and substances present in saliva, however, in excess, it can be harmful. See the benefits and risks of applying fluoride.

What to do: you should check with your dentist the recommended amount of fluoride according to each person, to avoid excessive use and yellowing of the teeth. However, when the person already has yellow spots caused by excess fluoride, the dentist can remove them through whitening or placement of dental veneers, also known as dental contact lenses, according to the dentist's recommendation.Know what they are for and when to put contact lenses on your teeth.

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