What is Causing My Tooth Discoloration?

What is Causing My Tooth Discoloration? - Boston Dental

No matter how hard we try to keep our teeth glistening and white, tooth discoloration is quite common and can result for different reasons. Understanding the causes and making a few changes can make a big difference.

Poor Dental Hygiene

Brushing your teeth and flossing on a daily basis is one of the best ways to avoid tooth discoloration. If you aren’t brushing or flossing on a regular basis, bacteria and food particles will build up in your mouth and cling onto your teeth, causing them to become discolored. If you’re experiencing tooth stains or discoloration and don’t have a regular dental hygiene routine, now is the time to start!

Use of Tobacco

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but the use of tobacco is not only bad for your health but also has negative effects on your teeth. Tobacco use puts you at a higher risk of gum disease, oral health issues, and advances the yellowing of your teeth.

Acidic Foods and Beverages

Beverages that are high in acidity, including coffee, tea, wine, soda, and some juices, will cause your teeth to become discolored quite rapidly especially if you are drinking them on a regular basis. Acidic beverages aren’t the only causes of discoloration, apples, beets, blueberries, cherries, citrus fruits, cranberries, potatoes, raspberries, and tomatoes also have the same effect. Try to limit the number of acidic foods and beverages you are enjoying to avoid yellowing teeth.


As we age, the enamel on our teeth wears down and allows the dentin (the next layer of the tooth) to show through. Dentin is a yellowish color, which means as you age, your teeth will start to become more discolored.


Certain illnesses can impact tooth enamel, causing tooth discoloration. If you experience any conditions such as metabolic diseases, calcium deficiency, liver disease, rickets, eating disorders, and celiac disease, you are more likely to experience tooth discoloration.

Certain Medications

There is a long list of medications and medical treatments that can speed up yellowing of the teeth, causing people to experience tooth discoloration. These include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotic drugs
  • High blood pressure medications
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation for the head and/or neck
  • Oral rinses containing chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium


Genetics play a large role in the color of your teeth (brightness and thickness of enamel) and some people are born with very white teeth and others are not.

To help achieve a bright, white smile, it’s crucial to brush and floss on a daily basis and avoid acidic foods and beverages. To learn more about the teeth whitening services Boston Dental offers, contact our Government Center office today at 617.402.5000 and our Downtown Crossing office at 617.338.5000.

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