Dr. Jennifer Vitarelli

Teeth Discolouration: All You Need to Know

Dental discoloration is an issue that has many root causes and one that is prevalent all over the world. The reason why it’s such a prominent issue is that it’s caused by poor lifestyle and dietary choices. Since it doesn’t have any immediate effect on the individual, people are not inclined to change their habits until the condition becomes worse. Therefore, it’s best that you understand the causes of this problem so that you know what you can do to prevent it, which is what we’re going to be discussing in this article. With that said, let’s get to it.


Foods and drinks

One reason for dental discoloration is overexposure to acids, sugar, and other foods that have bold colors such as coffee and red wine. These foods contain a substance called chromogens which, when exposed to the enamel, will slowly seep into the enamel and dentin layers, changing their color. This is even more prominent in food products with artificial coloring, as they are made of chemicals and are able to penetrate the surface layer of the teeth more effectively.

Nicotine and tobacco products

Nicotine is another substance that has a prominent effect on the color of the teeth. The particles and fumes will collect on the top layer of a smoker or chewer’s teeth. Over time, this will turn into a thicker stain. Whether you smoke or chew tobacco, the dental effects are the same.


Tartar is the result of plaque buildups not being promptly removed from the surface of the teeth, causing it to become hardened. The bacteria inside these hard surfaces can cause the surface of the teeth to become discolored. The worst part? Tartar buildup often can only be removed by professionals.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay occurs when one has poor dental hygiene, as the bacteria from the tartar and plaque buildups will eat away at an individual’s gumline. This will interfere with the circulation in the teeth, leading to the development of many other issues. When this happens, your teeth will become weak and start to develop a slight yellowish-brown tint. Additionally, if there are some cavity issues along with that, the teeth may become an even darker brown shade.


As people age, the enamel layers will become worn and degraded, exposing the dentin layer underneath. The dentin structure has a yellowish-brown tint, which explains why the teeth of older folks are duller than those of younger people.


Like many other parts of our body, your genetics also play a major role in the coloration of your teeth. Some people naturally have teeth that have a browner shade compared to others who naturally have bright teeth. Fortunately, advancements in dentistry have made it possible to get teeth whitening treatment to a whiter shade. If you’re looking for that Hollywood smile, consider having it done!

Vitarelli Dental is a dental office based in Madison NJ, get in touch today to see how we can help you maintain a great set of teeth.

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