Dental Tips Blog

Jun
6

What Makes Teeth Yellow?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Why do some teeth appear more yellow than others? Even in a single person’s mouth, their teeth can have a range of shades, not to mention tooth shade varies from one person to the next. What is it that causes this color difference? Thankfully, the natural color or yellowing of tooth enamel typically does not have anything to do with whether or not the person’s teeth are healthy or not. The majority of the time it is simply a matter of appearance, with whiter smiles appearing more cosmetically pleasing than those with a yellower tint.

Anatomy

Tooth enamel is white, but the underlying layer of tooth structure is not. This layer is called dentin, and dentin has a natural yellow color. Some dentin is darker or thicker in certain teeth, making those teeth appear yellower than others. For example, the canine or eyeteeth have thicker dentin than other teeth and are typically the most yellow teeth in the mouth.

Age and Diet

Over time our teeth absorb stain from what we eat or drink. As we age, our teeth accumulate more and more stain. Diets that have higher intakes of tea, coffee, red wine, soda and tobacco use will naturally cause more severe levels of stain both inside and outside of the tooth enamel. Smokers especially have heavier stain on their teeth, which can be extremely difficult to remove.

Does Whitening Your Teeth Help?

Using a whitening kit from your dentist can lift some of the internal and external stains from your teeth, making them appear whiter and younger. Peroxide based solutions help to oxidize the stain and lift it from the porous surfaces of the enamel. In-office laser teeth whitening is another whitening option that provides same-day results.

Posted on behalf of Lawrenceville Family Dental Care, P.C.

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