Yellow Teeth


Dear Jeff,

I have yellow teeth. Many years ago, I used to have teeth that were much whiter. I don’t smoke cigarettes, drink tea or coffee. What can I do about this?

– Jane M. 42, Greenbank.


Dear Jane,

We usually think of staining being caused by foods. However, there can be many other factors that can stain your teeth.

The most common causes of teeth staining are tobacco, tea and coffee. Other causes are:

Red wine
Soy sauce
Dark cola beverages
Dark fruit juice
Age and thinning of enamel
Thinning of the tooth enamel results in more of the underlying dentine (yellow) to show through. This most commonly occurs with age, but can also be caused by consumption of acidic foods that can erode tooth enamel.

Although I am not advocating to discontinue consumption any of the above foods, I am advising that when you do have them, brush your teeth or at the very least, rinse your mouth afterwards and not let the stain stay on your teeth for long periods of time.

How to get rid of stains

If your teeth are mildly discolored, stains can be removed by tooth whitening, polishing or microabrasion. If the stain is severe or deep in the tooth, it can be covered with bonding, a porcelain veneer, or a crown.

It is always best to schedule an appointment with your dental professional for a consultation for a proper diagnosis.