Everything You Need to Know About Teeth Stains

One smile can leave a big impression. And while a pleasing personality can certainly add, the factor that cannot be overlooked is your teeth’ color. To better understand how you can take care of your oral hygiene better, you should learn about what causes stains and how to prevent them. Here is a complete guide to teeth staining.

What is the normal teeth color?

Despite popular ads or the clean appearance that they give off in showbiz, pearly white isn’t the exact standard for healthy teeth. It definitely shines through and can leave a good impression, but people with sparkling white teeth can still have unhealthy gums. 

Normal teeth color is usually off-white and turns more yellow with age. That is because as we get older, the enamel starts chipping away off and reveals the color of your teeth underneath. Some people have different tooth colors due to genetics.

Types of Teeth Stain Colors and Possible Causes

  • Yellow

As mentioned previously, yellow in its more tinted hue can be due to aging. When the enamel breaks down as you age, it slowly reveals the dentin, which is the yellowish layer within your teeth.

This color may also be the cause of poor hygiene, which results in plaque buildup. A darker tint of yellow may be the cause of smoking or chewing tobacco. 

  • Brown 

When teeth surpass the darkest tint of yellow, it may start to appear brownish. Excessive smoking may speed up the staining process. Coupled with a regular intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee or black tea, this may lead to permanent staining. 

  • Black

It is most alarming when you find your teeth turning a blackish color. This may no longer be a teeth stain as it may indicate tooth decay due to hygiene neglect. 

  • Purple

Some teeth stains may be temporary due to the food or beverage consumed that day. Teeth may appear purple from drinking wine or eating fruit of the same color. It is important not to let it stick to your teeth for too long. Nothing a little mouthwash and toothbrush can’t fix. 

2 Types of Tooth Discoloration

  • Extrinsic

This type of discoloration is characterized by stains that come through on the outer layer of the teeth. This can be caused by residue buildup, food, and most of all, tobacco smoking. This tooth stain type can be treated or avoided by keeping up regular dental hygiene practices or having regular tooth cleaning at the dentist. 

  • Intrinsic

Counter to extrinsic discoloration; intrinsic discoloration happens in the inner layer of the teeth — the dentin. More advanced dental solutions are needed for this type of discoloration. 

6 Main Culprits of Tooth Discoloration


  • Aging

As stated earlier, the older we get, the more our teeth deteriorate and reveal the teeth’ inner layer. Teeth will tend to become more yellowish in nature. 


  • Genetics

There are genetic factors to teeth color. You may be born with slightly yellower teeth than normal, which is completely natural. 


  • Food and Beverages

The food you consume is also a big factor in teeth discoloration. The following are foods that could stain your teeth permanently if not consumed in moderation:

  • Wine – Red wines leave the more visible stain. White wine, although almost colorless, still has some acidic components that can affect your teeth.
  • Coffee and Black Tea – these two caffeinated beverages can stain teeth permanently if consumed in excess. You do not have to give them up, but you do have to lessen intake. 
  • Beet Root – Beetroot brings out a rich red color, which is why it is often used in natural dyeing. 
  • Soda – Cola and other flavored sodas are packed with sugar and acids that could stain your teeth right after drinking.
  • Any dish cooked in soy sauce – anything stir-fried with this dark-colored condiment can leave a stain.
  • Tomato sauce and curry sauce


  • Smoking 


Smoking is one of the lead causes of permanent staining on teeth. Not only does it leave an unwanted color on the teeth permanently, but it also weakens them and affects your gums. It may also damage taste buds and cause bad breath, affecting your entire oral health.


  • Poor Hygiene


Neglecting a brushing and flossing routine will allow the stains from food consumptions to stay longer on your teeth, which leads to permanent staining. It can also lead to cavities and bad breath.


  • Disease and/or Medication

Some staining issues may come from diseases that affect the enamel of your teeth. Treatments and medication for these conditions also may leave unexpected stains. Radiation and chemotherapy are some examples. Drugs like Benadryl or antihypertensive medications also have some teeth discoloration side effects.

Treatments for Teeth Discoloration

There are many ways to get rid of teeth stains at home or with a visit to the dentist. One is to maintain a strict oral hygiene habit by brushing and flossing regularly every day. Some teeth whitening strips are bought over-the-counter, though you might want to phone your dentist if this is something they recommend. 

But for tough, permanent stains that may or may not be coupled with some chipping and deterioration, you need to visit a dentist for in-office procedures. Some common procedures are bonding, where the dentist fuses material to teeth stains to change their color, or attachment of veneers, a porcelain outer covering that protects teeth from further staining and gives it a nice shiny white appearance.

Want to get rid of or prevent tooth discoloration in your set of chompers? If you’re in the area of Chandler, Arizona, visit Kyrene Family Dentistry. With a team of expert dentists that cater to all the family members, you can have your teeth checked, cleaned, or fixed in no time. Schedule an appointment today!

Also Read: Should You Undergo Teeth Whitening?