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Teeth Discoloration: The Causes and What You Can Do About It

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causes of discolored tooth and possible treatments

Teeth discoloration is a common occurrence in both adults and children. Factors like diet and oral hygiene can cause it, but sometimes it can be genetic. This article will discuss the causes and treatment of teeth discoloration in adults.

What Is Teeth Discoloration?

Teeth discoloration is a common dental issue that can affect anyone regardless of age, lifestyle, or oral hygiene habits. It can be caused by various factors, such as smoking, consuming certain foods or drinks, taking certain medications, and aging. Teeth discoloration can range in severity from mild yellowing to deep brownish-gray discoloration. Teeth whitening treatments are usually effective for the minor discoloration caused by staining foods and drinks. However, more extensive treatments may be necessary when discoloration is caused by medications or aging.

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Causes Of Teeth Discoloration

 Understanding the causes of teeth discoloration can help you maintain healthy and bright teeth. The most common cause of teeth discoloration is poor oral hygiene. This includes not brushing or flossing your teeth properly or not doing so often enough.

Additionally, certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, and wine, contain natural pigments that can cause staining on your teeth. Tobacco also causes discoloration due to the tar and nicotine present in it. Medications like tetracycline and certain antibiotics can also cause the yellowing of teeth.

Other causes of teeth discoloration include aging, trauma, or excessive fluoride consumption or exposure.

To prevent tooth discoloration, practicing good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly and limiting the consumption of staining beverages and tobacco products is important. If you are already experiencing discoloration of your teeth, speak to your dentist about whitening options.

causes of discolored tooth and possible treatments
Teeth Discoloration Causes and Treatments.

What Are The Signs Of Teeth Discoloration?

Teeth discoloration is a common problem that affects people of all ages. It can be caused by various factors, such as consuming certain foods and drinks, poor dental hygiene, smoking, and certain medications. The signs of teeth discoloration vary depending on the cause, but they generally include yellowing, browning, grey spots, or a combination of the three. Other signs may include a dullness in the teeth that makes them appear to have lost their shine.

Additionally, teeth discoloration may cause you to feel embarrassed about the appearance of your smile. If you notice any of these signs of teeth discoloration, it is important to visit your dentist as soon as possible for treatment. Your dentist will be able to identify the cause and recommend a course of action to improve your smile. You can restore your smile and feel confident again with proper care and treatment.

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Professional Treatments For Teeth Discoloration

Here are the possible treatments for teeth discoloration and dental trends.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to treat teeth discoloration and brighten your smile. It is an increasingly popular cosmetic dental procedure that can significantly improve the look of your teeth.

Teeth whitening works by removing surface stains and discolorations caused by lifestyle factors such as drinking coffee, tea, red wine, and certain medications. The procedure involves using a bleaching product, typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Depending on the type of discoloration you have, your dentist may recommend professional teeth whitening or an in-home system.

Professional teeth whitening is done in the dentist’s office, where a stronger concentration of whitening product is used, and the results are usually more dramatic. In-home systems are more affordable and involve using whitening trays with a gel containing a lower concentration of the whitening agent. The trays are customized to fit your mouth, and you wear them with the gel for a few hours each day or overnight. Results from in-home systems take longer to achieve but are still very effective.

Whether you opt for professional or in-home teeth whitening, it is important to understand that it is only effective for natural teeth and will not work on any restorative dental work, such as veneers, crowns, or fillings. Moreover, it is also important to note that teeth whitening is not a permanent solution and may need touch-ups every few months or years, depending on your lifestyle habits and the type of discoloration you have.

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Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are an effective solution for those looking to treat discoloration of their teeth. Veneers are a thin layer of porcelain bonded to the front of the tooth, providing a beautiful and natural-looking smile. These veneers are custom-made to fit your individual teeth and can be used to correct various cosmetic dental problems, including discoloration. The porcelain material used in veneers is highly resistant to staining, so you can feel confident that your smile will stay bright and beautiful for years to come.

The procedure for applying porcelain veneers is minimally invasive and can be completed in as little as two visits to your dentist. During the first visit, your dentist will prepare your teeth for the veneers by removing a small portion of the enamel from the surface. Impressions are then taken of your teeth and sent to the dental lab, where the custom veneers will be made. On the second visit, your dentist will bond the veneers to your teeth and make any necessary adjustments before polishing them for a natural and beautiful finish. Porcelain veneers are durable, stain-resistant, and offer a long-lasting solution for treating teeth discoloration. Talk to your dentist today about whether porcelain veneers are right for you!

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is an effective and affordable solution for treating teeth discoloration. It involves the application of a tooth-colored composite resin material to the tooth’s surface, which is then hardened with a special light. This bonded material can be used to fill in cavities, close gaps between teeth, repair chipped or cracked teeth, and improve the appearance of discolored teeth. The procedure is relatively quick, painless, and requires no anesthesia.

The results of dental bonding are immediate and long-lasting, making it a popular option for those seeking cosmetic dental improvements. This type of restoration is also very cost-effective compared to other treatments, such as veneers or crowns. During the procedure, the dentist will use a shade guide to match the composite material to the natural color of your teeth.

It is important to note that dental bonding may not be suitable for all types of teeth discoloration. Your dentist can advise you on the best treatment option for your particular case. With proper care, dental bonding can last many years and help you achieve a brighter, healthier-looking smile.

Tooth Recontouring

If you’re dealing with tooth discoloration, tooth recontouring may be the perfect solution. Tooth recontouring is a quick, painless, and inexpensive cosmetic procedure that can be used to treat discoloration of teeth. It involves reshaping the tooth’s enamel and is typically done on healthy teeth.

During tooth recontouring, your dentist will remove small amounts of tooth enamel to reshape and contour the teeth. This procedure can be used to correct minor misalignments, chips and cracks, as well as discoloration. The results of tooth recontouring are often immediate, with patients seeing a noticeable difference in the appearance of their smile after just one treatment session. Additionally, tooth recontouring is safe and typically doesn’t require any anesthesia or downtime.

If you’re dealing with tooth discoloration, speaking to your dentist about whether tooth recontouring is the best option for you is important. Your dentist will be able to determine if your teeth are healthy enough for the procedure and what other options may be available for treating your discoloration.


Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a great way to treat discolored teeth. The discoloration can diminish your smile and make you feel self-conscious whether from coffee, tea, or smoking. Fortunately, dental crowns offer a perfect solution to restore the natural beauty of your teeth.

A dental crown is a covering that fits over the visible portion of the tooth, resembling an artificial tooth cap. It is custom-made to match the shape, size, and color of your existing teeth and is cemented into place. Dental crowns not only improve the appearance of your teeth but also help to protect them from further damage due to decay or breakage. Crowns can be made from various materials, such as porcelain, resin, ceramic, or metal. Depending on the desired cosmetic outcome, your dentist may suggest a certain type of material for your crown.

Crowns are also beneficial for restoring damaged teeth as they provide additional strength and support. With proper care and maintenance, dental crowns can last for many years. Dental crowns are an excellent option if you’re looking for a way to restore the natural beauty of your teeth and improve your smile!

Enamel Abrasion

Enamel abrasion is an effective treatment for discolored teeth. It is a minimally invasive procedure that involves using a special abrasive material to remove the surface layers of enamel from teeth. This procedure is particularly effective for the discoloration caused by tetracycline stains, fluorosis, and certain restorations.

During the treatment, your dentist will apply a special paste or gel to the affected teeth and use a rotating brush to remove the surface enamel. This process may need to be repeated several times, depending on the severity of the discoloration. The result is teeth that are whiter and brighter in appearance. While enamel abrasion is generally considered safe, it is important to note that it may cause some temporary sensitivity or discomfort.

Talking to your dentist about any concerns before beginning treatment is important. Additionally, it is important to practice good oral hygiene before and after the procedure in order to maintain optimal results. With proper care and maintenance, enamel abrasion can be an effective way to improve the appearance of your smile.

Tooth Bleaching

Tooth bleaching is an effective way to treat discoloration of your teeth. It can be done in a dental office or at home with over-the-counter products. In-office bleaching is performed by a dentist and involves applying a stronger bleaching agent to your teeth.

Home bleaching involves wearing a mouth guard with bleaching gel for several hours or overnight. Both methods involve the use of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which breaks down into oxygen and water, thereby removing stains from the enamel and dentin of the tooth.

Bleaching is usually effective at lightening tooth discoloration caused by smoking, drinking coffee and tea, eating certain foods, and taking certain medications. However, it is important to note that bleaching may not work on all types of discoloration. Additionally, bleaching will not work on fillings, crowns, veneers, or other dental devices. For best results, it is recommended to consult with a dentist before starting any tooth whitening treatment to ensure that it is safe for your teeth and gums.

Natural Remedies For Teeth Discoloration


1. Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling is an ancient Indian practice that has been used for centuries to treat various ailments and improve overall health. This traditional remedy involves swishing a tablespoon of oil, often sesame or coconut, in the mouth for 15-20 minutes, then spitting it out. This practice is becoming increasingly popular as a natural way to treat discoloration of the teeth.

Oil Pulling is thought to be effective in removing bacteria and toxins from the mouth and thereby reducing tooth discoloration. It can also help to reduce inflammation in the gums, as well as bad breath. Regularly oil pulling may also help to reduce cavities by removing bacteria from between teeth. To practice oil pulling, start by swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. Take care not to swallow any of the oil as it can contain toxins that can be harmful if ingested. Once you have swished for the full duration, spit out the oil and rinse your mouth with warm water. The best time to do this is first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything.

Oil Pulling is a simple and natural way to improve your oral health and reduce discoloration of your teeth. Give it a try – you may be surprised at the results!

2. Baking Soda & Hydrogen Peroxide Paste

If you’re looking for an easy, inexpensive way to treat teeth discoloration, a baking soda and hydrogen peroxide paste may be just what you need. This simple paste is made from ingredients that you likely already have in your home and is an effective way to improve the appearance of your teeth.

To make the paste, mix equal parts of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to form a paste-like consistency. Then, use a soft bristled toothbrush to apply the paste to your teeth. Leave the paste on your teeth for up to five minutes before rinsing with water. Be careful not to swallow any of the paste while rinsing, as baking soda can cause irritation in your stomach. Repeat this process two to three times a week for the best results. You should start to notice a difference in the appearance of your teeth within weeks.

Not only does this method help with discoloration, but it also helps remove surface stains and plaque build-up without damaging enamel. Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide paste are one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to treat teeth discoloration.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has many health benefits and can be used as a natural remedy for a variety of issues. It is becoming increasingly popular for treating teeth discoloration, and its regular use may help to restore the original white color of your teeth.

ACV rinse is easy to make and use. All you need is to mix one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar with one cup of warm water. Swish the mixture in your mouth for about 30 seconds, then rinse with cold water. Repeat this process two to three times a week for the best results. The acidic content of ACV helps to break down plaque and remove stains from the surface of teeth.

Additionally, it helps to kill bacteria in your mouth and reduce bad breath. ACV rinse also helps to balance the pH levels in your mouth and stimulate saliva production, which naturally helps to protect teeth from decay and discoloration. Make sure to use only organic, raw ACV, as it contains beneficial enzymes and minerals that are not found in processed varieties. With regular use, you should see a noticeable improvement in the whiteness of your teeth within a few weeks.

4. Activated Charcoal

 Activated charcoal is becoming increasingly popular as a natural solution to treating teeth discoloration. It is a product derived from burning various organic materials such as coconut shells, peat, olive pits, and sawdust. The burning process increases the surface area of the charcoal and activates it, giving it powerful absorption capabilities. When used to brush teeth, activated charcoal can help to reduce the appearance of discoloration caused by coffee, tea, wine, and other food and drink stains. It works by absorbing the particles that cause discoloration and eliminating them from the surface of the teeth.

Many users find it also has a whitening effect, making it an attractive option for people who want to brighten their teeth safely. Additionally, activated charcoal is generally safe and free from harsh chemicals, making it an excellent choice for those looking for natural solutions to their dental care. To use activated charcoal for treating teeth discoloration, simply wet your toothbrush and dip it in the powder.

Brush for two minutes, then rinse thoroughly with water. You should only use activated charcoal once or twice weekly for the best results. With regular use, you should notice a difference in the appearance of your teeth over time.

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5. Eat Strawberries

Strawberries contain a natural enzyme called malic acid which can help to whiten teeth and treat discoloration. Malic acid breaks down and removes the surface stains that make teeth look yellow or discolored. Eating a few strawberries daily can help restore your teeth’s natural whiteness. For best results, you should use fresh, organic strawberries. Simply mash the strawberries into a paste-like consistency and apply it to your teeth with a toothbrush. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, and then rinse with warm water.

You can also combine mashed strawberries with baking soda to create a powerful whitening paste. Add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to the mixture before brushing for extra whitening power. Adding strawberries to your diet is an easy and natural way to keep your teeth looking their best. Eating strawberries regularly can help prevent future discoloration and keep your smile looking bright and healthy.

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6. Use Turmeric as a Paste

Turmeric is an amazing natural ingredient that can be used to treat tooth discoloration. This ancient spice has been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Its active component, curcumin, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that can help reverse teeth discoloration.

To use turmeric as a paste, mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a few drops of coconut or sesame oil. Brush your teeth with this paste for at least two minutes twice a day. It helps clean and whiten teeth and reduce inflammation and swelling in the gums. Additionally, the antibacterial properties of turmeric can help reduce plaque buildup and prevent gum disease. After brushing, rinse your mouth with warm water to remove any remaining turmeric residue. If you experience any irritation or discomfort when using turmeric, discontinue use immediately.

Turmeric can be a great way to get whiter teeth naturally, but speaking to your dentist before trying any new treatment is important.

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7. Consume Foods High in Calcium and Vitamin D 

Are your teeth looking a bit dull and discolored? You may be surprised to learn that the foods you eat can play a major role in improving the color of your teeth. Consuming foods high in calcium and vitamin D can be an effective natural treatment for teeth discoloration.

Calcium helps to make teeth stronger and protects them from decay, while Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and use it to strengthen tooth enamel. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of calcium-rich foods such as dairy products, tofu, dark leafy greens, salmon, and sardines, as well as vitamin D-rich foods such as mushrooms, eggs, cod liver oil, and canned tuna, can help protect against discoloration and maintain a healthy white smile.

Additionally, avoiding sugary or starchy foods, quitting smoking, and limiting coffee, tea, or red wine can also help prevent discoloration. If you are looking for a natural way to improve the color of your teeth, start adding more calcium and vitamin D-rich foods to your diet today! 

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Prevention Of Teeth Discoloration

  1. Brush twice daily 
  2. Use fluoride toothpaste 
  3. Floss daily 
  4. Limit snacking and sugary foods 
  5. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol 
  6. Use a straw when consuming dark drinks such as coffee, soda, and tea 
  7. Rinse your mouth after eating or drinking 
  8. Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and dental cleanings to help maintain your smile and prevent tooth discoloration.
causes of discolored tooth and possible treatments
Teeth Discoloration Causes and Treatments.

FAQs About Teeth Discoloration


Who is at risk of getting teeth discoloration?

Everyone is at risk of discoloration of their teeth, but certain factors can increase your susceptibility. Teeth naturally darken as we age, but certain lifestyle choices and habits can accelerate this process. Smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and cola, and eating staining foods like berries can all contribute to teeth discoloration.

Other causes include certain medications such as tetracycline, excessive fluoride exposure, and poor dental hygiene. Additionally, the type of restoration you may have received can cause discoloration. Porcelain veneers or metal fillings can wear down over time, revealing a darker color underneath. Furthermore, trauma to the teeth or even too much brushing can also contribute to discoloration.

causes of discolored tooth and possible treatments
Teeth Discoloration Causes and Treatments.

What will happen if I don’t treat teeth discoloration?

If you don’t treat teeth discoloration, you could experience a range of serious dental problems. Teeth discoloration can be caused by several factors, including age, poor oral hygiene, smoking, and certain foods and drinks.

If you don’t treat it, the discoloration may worsen and cause further damage to your teeth. This can lead to cavities, tooth decay, and an increased risk of gum disease. The enamel on your teeth may also become weakened, leaving your teeth more susceptible to staining and other kinds of damage. It’s important to visit your dentist for a professional cleaning and evaluation if you’re experiencing discoloration in your teeth. They can recommend the best treatment for your individual needs. This may include bleaching or a whitening treatment to remove the discoloration and restore the natural color of your teeth.

Additionally, your dentist may suggest lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking or avoiding certain foods to help prevent further discoloration. Taking care of your teeth is essential for a healthy smile, so don’t ignore any signs of discoloration, and make sure to visit your dentist as soon as possible.

causes of discolored tooth and possible treatments
Teeth Discoloration Causes and Treatments.

Final Thoughts: Teeth Discoloration

There are many causes of teeth discoloration. If you are experiencing this issue, please see your dentist for treatment options. By keeping your teeth clean and healthy, you can prevent this from happening in the future.



This website is intended to educate both members of the general public and those working in the medical field on the prevalence, causes, and methods for preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases that affect people throughout their lives. This website’s content is provided solely for informational reasons and is not meant to serve as a substitute for the advice of a qualified medical practitioner.


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Fatima May dela Paz, RT

Fatima May dela Paz, RT

I'm a registered radiologic technologist, blogger, and wannabe chef. Living in the sunny Philippines. Writing about tech, healthcare, and in between.
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