Five Reasons Why Your Teeth Are Stained

Are you embarrassed about the color of your teeth? Here’s what causes stained teeth and what you can do to keep your smile bright.

Five Reasons Why Your Teeth Are Stained

Are you embarrassed about the color of your teeth? Stained teeth aren’t just a side effect of getting older. Your daily habits play just as big of a role as genetics do when it comes to how quickly your teeth change color. In fact, most of the causes of stained teeth can be prevented. By making a few changes to your lifestyle—and with a little help from dentists like us—you can make your smile bright again. 

What Causes Stained Teeth? Five Common Culprits

1: Enamel Erosion 

Are you one of the many people that brushes their teeth too hard? Using too much pressure, a hard-bristled toothbrush, or an abrasive toothpaste will gradually wear away at your tooth enamel. The thinner your enamel gets, the easier it is for your teeth to become stained. If your teeth are not as white as they used to be, it could be due to enamel erosion from brushing too hard. 

2: Caffeine Habits

It’s not only coffee that stains your teeth. Energy drinks, black tea, and sodas can stain your teeth as well. In coffee and tea, it’s the natural tannins. In sodas and energy drinks, it’s the artificial dyes. If you need a caffeine boost to start your day or keep yourself going, try drinking green tea (hot or iced) instead. Feeling low on energy can also be a sign of a B12 deficiency—taking a B12 supplement will raise your energy levels and protect your dental health.

3: Nicotine Habits

Whether you smoke it or vape it, nicotine is going to stain your teeth. Even though your tooth enamel is very hard, it is still porous. When nicotine gets trapped in the surface of your teeth, exposure to oxygen makes it turn darker and darker over time. If you smoke or vape, your teeth will slowly turn yellow and then brown. Besides stains, both smoking and vaping cause dry mouth and other complications that lead to gum disease and tooth decay. So the sooner you quit, the better.

4: Plaque Buildup 

Poor brushing and flossing habits allow plaque to build up on your teeth, where it hardens into yellowish tartar. If you’re not cleaning your teeth often enough, or if you’re brushing the wrong way, your teeth might start to look yellow as tartar accumulates. Fortunately, tartar can be removed during your next dental cleaning, but don’t delay your appointment. Plaque and tartar release acids that weaken your tooth enamel and lead to further stains. The longer they’re allowed to build up on your teeth, the worse the stains will be.

5: Receding Gums

If your teeth look stained along the gumline, you might have receding gums. When the gum tissue gets inflamed or infected, it pulls away from the teeth. It can get irritated by abrasive brushing, or inflamed by gingivitis. Permanent gum damage exposes the roots of your teeth, which are not protected by enamel and are very vulnerable to stains. If you have stains along the gumline, see a dentist right away. Prompt treatment for gum disease will keep your gums from receding further, and fillings will restore the stained area while protecting the exposed tooth roots.

Holistic Dental Treatments in Prescott

Do you hide your teeth when you smile because you’re embarrassed about their color? You don’t have to live with stained teeth for the rest of your life. If you want to start flashing a whiter smile, make an appointment at Prescott Dentistry. We can restore your smile and help you keep it bright with our holistic dental treatments. Contact us to schedule an exam today. 


Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 5/8/2024.