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Most people’s teeth are not as pearly white as those sported by celebrities or shown on toothpaste advertisements. Abnormal tooth color is any other color apart from white. Yellow teeth can cause embarrassment and make you hesitant to smile.

Many things can stain your teeth and cause them to turn yellow. The reasons for stained teeth can be extrinsic, intrinsic, or age relate.


Intrinsic causes of staining result from something in your body or inner part of the teeth and are difficult to remove.

  • Medication

Some medications, such as antibiotics containing tetracycline or doxycycline, may develop stains on children’s teeth. Taking tetracycline before the fourth month of pregnancy can cause teeth discoloration in the baby. Some antihistamines and antipsychotic drugs can also cause teeth discoloration.

  • Using strong mouthwash

Prescription-strength mouth wash that contains chlorhexidine can cause discoloration during adulthood.

  • Chemotherapy and radiation

Stained teeth can be caused by chemotherapy or radiotherapy when treating cancers around the head or neck.


Extrinsic stains result from something that comes into contact with the surface of the tooth. The tooth enamel is easily stained, but these stains quickly come off.

  • Foods and drinks

If food can stain your clothes, it is likely to stain your teeth as well. These foods and drinks have high levels of chromogens, which produce pigments. Wine, coffee, tea, cola, some fruits like apples, grapes, and beets can stain your teeth.

Acidic foods and drinks promote the erosion of teeth, making it easier for the pigment to attach to the enamel. Adding milk to tea and coffee is an excellent way to prevent them from staining your teeth.

  • Use of tobacco products

People who smoke or chew tobacco products get yellow stains on teeth caused by tar and nicotine chemicals.

  • Liquid iron supplements

You can get stains on your teeth from using some liquid forms of iron supplements. These stains are, however, easy to remove.

  • Poor oral hygiene

If you fail to brush and floss your teeth well will result in stains. You should clean and rinse your teeth well and get regular dental cleaning to remove plaque.


Some people are more likely to get discolored teeth or get stained teeth as a result of injuries.

  • Age

The outer part of your teeth gets thinner over time, making them seem more yellow. You can prevent this by ensuring adequate saliva production, which washes away food and plaque from the teeth’ surface. Consult a doctor if you experience chronic dry mouth. It would be best if you brushed your teeth twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride to prevent tooth enamel from becoming thin.

  • Genetics

You can be born with teeth that appear whiter or more yellow than others. If your enamel is thin, your teeth’ yellowish dentin will be more visible, making your teeth appear yellow.

  • Injuries

The formation of teeth enamel can be disturbed by a fall or injury during childhood. A fall or grinding teeth might chip the enamel of teeth and expose the yellowish dentin.


A few changes can help you prevent stained teeth.

  1. Reduce your intake of stain-causing foods and drinks, and quit smoking or chewing tobacco.
  2. Observe good dental hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day.
  3. Visit your dentist every six months to get your teeth cleaned.


Many factors can cause teeth stains. Some foods, drinks, tobacco, medications, and poor dental hygiene can cause yellow stains. Age, genetic factors, and injuries can also cause your teeth to get a yellowish color.

To prevent teeth stains, avoid tobacco, foods, and drinks that cause staining. You should also visit your dentist every six months and observe daily dental hygiene.