Why Do Teeth Become Stained?

palmetto dental associates

why teeth become stained 8/6/18

There are a lot of reasons why your teeth may become stained. Sometimes, you may think the stains are from the most talked about reason: foods and drinks. But, there are a few other, less known causes, that may be acting on your teeth. Here are a few reasons along with stained teeth tips to keep your teeth white. 


As we age, our enamel, the tooth’s protector, begins to thin. This gives us a greater risk of getting cavities along with “yellowish” teeth. Under the surface of the enamel is a soft area called Dentin. This begins to darken and yellow as we age. When your enamel becomes worn down, the yellow-tinted dentin is easier to see. This makes your teeth look yellow. 


The side effects of stained teeth can start in the womb. Medications such as tetracycline and doxycycline can darken a baby’s adult teeth later in life. Also, chemo, head and neck radiation, antihistamines, high blood pressure meds, and antipsychotics can cause stained teeth. Remember, always review the side effects with a pharmacist or a doctor before taking a medication. This may save your tooth’s color!


When injured, the tooth makes more dentin to protect the root and nerves in the center of the tooth. Like being stained from age, dentin darkens over time and a “yellowish” color shows. 

Stained Teeth from Tobacco 

There are lots of reasons why tobacco is bad for your oral and overall health. However, from a cosmetic point of view, tobacco use can cause stained teeth. Why does this happen? The tobacco coats the outer shell of the tooth with nicotine and tar.

A stained tooth is not always a bad health sign. As we age and consume food and drink, our enamel wears down and reveals a dark, yellow, dentin layer. This makes your tooth look stained. But, if you have concerns about your teeth, you should always have the staff at Palmetto Dental Associates look at them. If you would like to whiten your teeth there are a multiple in-office and at-home treatment options. For more information call Palmetto Dental Associates at (843)-399-2525.