Do you find your yellow teeth embarrassing?

It is true that people consider a smile with white, bright teeth to be pretty and healthy whereas teeth that are yellow may leave a bad impression.

This can greatly reduce your self-esteem, confidence and will make you conscious of your smile in public situations.

So what exactly causes your teeth to turn yellow? And how can you treat it? Find out in this article below.

discoloration from white



Discoloration of Teeth

When you are a child, you have baby teeth that are quite white.

As soon as they fall off, your permanent teeth appear. These are less whiter than your baby teeth.

Eventually, you consume food and drink which can stain your white teeth.

While you may continue teeth brushing and flossing daily, some bacteria and plaque still remain in the mouth.

These cause your teeth to discolor and stain.

Your teeth can stain in several colors for different reasons.

Brown Color

Smoking and chewing tobacco products can cause your teeth to stain brownish-yellow.

Moreover, if you consume tea and coffee then they will also turn a shade of brown and result in tooth discoloration.

Additionally, if do not brush properly then that can cause tooth decay and eventually your teeth to turn brown-yellow.

Black Color

If you have tooth pulp necrosis or tooth decay then your teeth can turn blackish grey.

Furthermore, if you eat too many beetle nuts then that can cause your teeth color to turn black.

It can also happen because of exposure to minerals.

If you are in an industrial setting and in contact with silver, magnesium and iron then that can create the appearance of a black line onto your teeth and affect tooth color.

Though, you can also get this contact with minerals through supplements you eat.

White Spots 

Your teeth can also discolor and form spots.

These white spots occur because of the excess use of fluoride on young teeth.

Children coming in contact with fluoride toothpaste, fluoride water and rinses can get fluorosis.

This cannot only cause these white spots but also change the color of your teeth to yellow.

There are several other causes for your teeth to turn yellow. More on that below!

woman holding tea and pointing to mouth


Yellow Teeth Causes

  • Genetics

Your teeth can be naturally yellow if your parents have teeth that have a hue of yellow.

Hence, if your parents’ teeth are yellow or dark yellow then you are likely to have them too.

  • Aging

As you age, your enamel weakens.

This is because of the constant exposure to acids from the consumption of food and drinks.

Moreover, it is also due to action your teeth have to do for breaking and chewing food.

As the enamel wears down, it exposes the dentin.

The dentin is already yellow-brownish.

Hence, when enamel no longer covers it, the yellow color of the dentin becomes more apparent.

The pulp reduces and decreases the translucent effect on your teeth which shows a shade of yellow.

  • Dietary Factors

Food and drinks that stain teeth include sauces, berries, cola, coffee, tea, red wine and other carbonated drinks.

These foods contain tannins that stick to the teeth causing the enamel to wear down.

Moreover, they can result in plaque buildup which can create a yellow tinge.

Plus their colors can stain the surface of your teeth causing extrinsic stains.

  • Smoking

You can also get extrinsic stains on the surface of the teeth that are visible to others due to smoking.

The tar causes damage to your dental hygiene and can lead to diseases such as oral cancer and gingivitis.

Moreover, your teeth turn yellowish-brown and also give bad breath.

  • Trauma To The Tooth

If there is an accident or trauma to the tooth that causes damage to the tooth then it can stain as well.

This can crack the enamel of the tooth and result in damage to the interior part of the tooth hence, causing bleeding.

This bleeding may look like discoloration which needs immediate medical attention.

woman grinding teeth


  • Teeth Grinding

Teeth Grinding is harmful to your teeth as it not only changes the shape of the canines but also weakens the enamel.

You may do it unconsciously in sleep due to stress but grinding wears down the tooth enamel and that makes the teeth brittle, weak and yellow.

  • Use of Dental Materials

If you get any dental work such as tooth fillings then that can cast a color.

Amalgam restorations can give a black grey hue to the teeth.

Moreover, if you had braces then a certain part of your teeth may remain unclean where there were wires and brackets.

This can cause that part to stain and leave a mark when your remove braces.

  • Medications and Illnesses

Treatments and certain medications can stain your teeth yellow.

If children take the antibiotic tetracycline then it can stain their teeth if they are younger than 8 years old.

Blood pressure medicines, antihistamines and mouthwashes with chlorhexidine can all stain teeth as they can weaken the enamel and the enamel thins.

Moreover, if a pregnant woman gets an infection and takes an antibiotic during pregnancy then it can affect enamel development in their babies.

Hence, they will have stained teeth when they grow.

Other medical treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy especially in the head and neck area can both stain the teeth and turn them yellow.

  • Poor Oral Hygiene

If you do not brush twice a day, floss daily, use mouthwash occasionally then the plaque will build up and harden.

This forms tartar and can lead to decay, cavity and gum disease.

The hardened plaque may also appear as yellowish stains.

Therefore, if you do not care about your oral health then your teeth will not remain white longer.

comparison of man's white and yellow teeth


How to Whiten Yellow Teeth?

Now that you know what causes your teeth to stain, let’s find out how to whiten teeth.

You have several options to whiten your teeth roughly divided into three categories. These are:

  • Home remedies with regular products
  • Whitening Systems to use at home
  • Dental Teeth Whitening in a dentist’s office

Starting from home remedies, a few popular ones include using baking soda and charcoal.

You can mix baking soda (1 tablespoon)with hydrogen peroxide (2 tablespoons) to form a paste and brush your teeth with it.

Thoroughly rinse it afterward and notice the change by using it regularly for a while.

Both baking soda and hydrogen peroxide help to whiten the teeth.

Using toothpaste with baking soda also results in slight whitening.

Secondly, the activated charcoal powder can help decrease stains.

However, since it is abrasive, it can deteriorate the enamel hence use it sparingly.

Another popular method is the use of an ancient technique known as oil pulling.

Oil pulling involves squishing either coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil in your mouth for about 10 to 30 minutes.

This helps to remove bacteria and plaque from inside your mouth where the toothbrush may not reach.

You should be careful to not swallow it as this oil contains toxins and bacteria in the mouth.

Spit it and later rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth.

Furthermore, you should include Vitamin C in your diet as a deficiency can cause periodontitis to worsen.

This can further cause discoloration. Hence, you should consume more Vitamin C to prevent it.

You can also try rubbing banana, orange and lemon peel on your teeth but do so gently.

You can find other teeth whitening remedies here.

woman applying whitening strips for yellow teeth treatment


Yellow Teeth Treatment: Whitening Systems and Procedures

You can use whitening systems within the comfort of your home.

All these systems contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide but with a concentration of 10 to 38 percent which is lesser than that available in dental procedures.

These include:

Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste can change the shade of your teeth by one shade.

You may not see immediate results but constantly using it will bring about a small change.


Whitening gels contain carbamide peroxide.

You can apply them directly to your teeth and let them stay in place for a while.

Though, you can also add gels to other systems such as…

Mouth Trays and Strips 

Add the whitening gels to the mouth tray and wear it for about 10 to 30 minutes a day.

The mouth trays are custom made to fit in your teeth if your dentist made them.

The gel gets in direct contact with the teeth by placing it in the mouth tray.

Moreover, you can use whitening strips.

These strips are transparent and contain a whitening gel that attaches to your teeth when you put them on.


Whitening rinses contain a small amount of peroxide and whitening agents.

However, it is hard to see results before 12 weeks of regular use as it comes in contact with the mouth for only a few minutes.

Immediate results can be seen in a dental procedure.

woman getting a dental whitening procedure


Dental Whitening Procedures

You will see results immediately in a one hour long teeth whitening procedure.

Your dentist may choose to go Laser Teeth Whitening or Zoom Whitening.

In Laser Teeth Whitening, they will apply the whitening gel to each tooth individually and then oxidize it with the help of a laser.

Zoom teeth whitening applies the gel and light on all teeth together thrice in 15-minute sessions.

The light oxidizes the gel to release oxygen which clears stains and whitens teeth.

You can get up to 8 shades of whiter teeth when you leave the dental clinic.

Hence, in this way, you can immediately whiten your teeth from yellow.


Yellow teeth can be easily whitened.

You have many options to try but the quickest are dental teeth whitening treatments.

Hence, analyze what suits you best and choose a procedure that will give you immediate and lasting results.