Why Do I Have Yellow Teeth? Causes & Solutions

Yellow teeth can cause concern and insecurity for many people. Understanding the reasons behind yellow teeth and the available solutions can help you maintain a bright and healthy smile.

In this blog, we will explore the common causes of yellow teeth, the various ways to address discolouration, and, more importantly, how to prevent it.

Causes of Yellow Teeth

1. Poor Oral Hygiene

Neglecting necessary hygiene habits, such as regular brushing and flossing, can lead to plaque buildup, which can harden into tartar and cause yellowing. Proper dental hygiene is essential for preventing discolouration and maintaining overall dental health.

2. Dietary Habits

Certain foods and drinks, such as tea, coffee, red wine, and berries, are known to stain teeth. These items contain chromogens, compounds that adhere to the enamel and, therefore, cause discolouration.

3. Smoking and Tobacco Use

Tobacco products contain nicotine and tar, which can cause staining and turn teeth yellow or even brown. Smoking and chewing tobacco are significant contributors to teeth discolouration.

4. Aging

As we age, the outer layer of enamel on our teeth wears away, revealing the yellow-tinted dentin underneath. This natural process can make teeth appear more yellow over time.

5. Genetics

Some people may have thicker or more porous enamel due to genetics, which can affect the colour of their teeth. These genetic factors can play a role in how susceptible your teeth are to staining and discolouration.

6. Medications

Certain medications, for example tetracycline antibiotics, can cause dental discolouration, especially if taken during childhood when the teeth are still developing. Other medications, like antihistamines and blood pressure drugs, can also contribute to teeth yellowing.

7. Fluorosis

Excessive fluoride intake during the early years of tooth development may lead to fluorosis. This is a condition that causes white or brown spots to appear on the teeth, which can also result in an overall yellowish tint.

Solutions for Yellow Teeth

1. Improved Oral Hygiene

Maintaining a regular oral hygiene routine is crucial for healthy teeth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and dentists recommend using an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce plaque and prevent tartar buildup. You could also use a whitening toothpaste to help brighten the teeth further.

2. Dietary Changes

Limiting your consumption of teeth-staining foods and beverages can help prevent teeth staining. When you do indulge, rinse your mouth with water afterwards to minimize stain buildup. Using a straw for beverages like coffee and tea can also reduce contact with your teeth.

3. Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking and tobacco use can significantly improve the colour of your teeth as well as your overall health. There are many resources available to help you quit, including support groups and nicotine replacement techniques.

4. Professional Teeth Cleaning

Regular visits to your dentist for professional cleanings can help remove surface stains and tartar buildup that at-home brushing and flossing cannot eliminate. Hygiene cleans can prevent teeth discolouration as well as improve overall dental health.

5. Teeth Whitening Treatments

There are several teeth whitening options available, ranging from over-the-counter whitening toothpaste and strips to professional treatments provided by your dentist. Professional whitening treatments are generally more effective and longer-lasting. Toothfairy offers a prescription-grade whitening treatment for patients, which is super effective and super safe, as it is only available when prescribed by our dentists.

6. Dental Veneers

For more severe discolouration, dental veneers may be an option to look into. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite resin that are bonded to the front of your teeth, providing a whiter and more even appearance.

7. Composite Bonding

Composite bonding involves applying a tooth-coloured resin to the teeth and then hardening it with a special light. This can cover up stains and improve the appearance of your teeth by giving a more uniform look. Toothfairy also provides composite bonding at a discounted price for patients, to ensure they achieve the perfect, even, bright smile at the end of treatment.

Prevention Tips

Brush and floss regularly.

Use a whitening toothpaste.

Avoid foods and drinks that stain your teeth.

Visit your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups.

Consider professional whitening treatments if necessary.


Yellow teeth are a common issue with many potential causes, but they are also easily preventable and treatable. By understanding the reasons behind teeth discolouration and taking preventative steps, you can achieve and maintain a whiter, healthier smile. If you’re concerned about the colour of your teeth, consult with a Toothfairy dentist to determine the best course of action for your specific needs.

Your smile is one of your most important assets, so take good care of it!



Last updated on July 9, 2024

Dr. Deepak Aulak

Dr. Deepak Aulak is a London-based dental practitioner with a special interest in cosmetic dentistry. Having graduated from King's College London in Dentistry, Dr. Aulak was decorated with over a dozen awards and scholarships along the way, which notably include the Jelf Medal, Malleson Prize for research and GKT Hospital's Full Shields.


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