Why Yellow Teeth Are Bad - Bad Habits, Hygiene & Health Issues

Why Yellow Teeth Are Bad - Bad Habits, Hygiene & Health Issues
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Table of Contents

  1. Yellow Teeth Causation
  2. Maintaining Bright & Glistening Teeth
  3. References

Yellow teeth can indicate a variety of dental and overall health issues.

The popularity of at-home whitening kits is a testimony to how few people actually have the whitest possible smile. Many of us feel self-conscious about how our teeth look, and we want to take steps to get a beautiful, dazzling smile.

However, yellow teeth are not just a matter of stained enamel. Sometimes, there are underlying issues that can cause yellow teeth, which require more than just a few whitening strips.

Most people in the United States drink a lot of coffee, tea, or soda, and eat foods that may stain their teeth like blueberries, soy sauce, or chocolate. Online whitening kits are ideal for lifting these types of stains.

But if you have underlying oral health problems, it’s a good idea to see a dentist instead. Fortunately, regular visits to your dentist for cleanings and checkups can help you avoid serious oral health issues that can also stain your teeth yellow.

What Causes Yellow Teeth?

These are some of the most common causes of yellow teeth or off-white teeth:


Foods and drinks that are high in tannins can cause staining on your teeth that will make them darker or yellow. In the United States, coffee and red wine are the two most common offenders, but you may also consume a lot of soy sauce, other alcoholic drinks, chocolate, black tea, or soda. These can all lead to staining on your teeth.

You can moderate your intake of these foods and drinks, which helps your overall health in many cases. As you focus on a healthier diet, brush your teeth after each meal. Floss and rinse your mouth with mouthwash. You may need to use a whitening kit too, which can help to lift stains from your teeth.


The combination of nicotine, tar, and oxidized chemicals can deeply and quickly stain your teeth. Smoking can also lead to gum disease, which can increase the damage and staining on your teeth as plaque begins to build up.

This issue may be so severe that a whitening kit alone will not help. Work with your dentist to manage issues associated with smoking. Talk with your doctor to get help to quit smoking. Maintain a good oral hygiene routine, which may include occasional whitening procedures.

Too much Fluoride
Although fluoride has been part of the water supply in many places in the United States for decades, to reduce the frequency of cavities, being exposed to too much of this chemical at a young age can cause discolored teeth. This is because too much fluoride can wear away the enamel, which causes the underlying part of the tooth, called dentin, to peek through.

If you have an underlying health condition that discolors your teeth, make sure you work with your doctor and dentist before pursuing any whitening treatments. This does not mean you will not benefit from an at-home whitening kit.

Aim to understand what might be causing your yellow teeth, solve any issues like periodontal disease, and then pursue cosmetic treatments like at-home whitening kits that are available online.

Removing food and drink buildup from the surface of your teeth at least twice per day will help your smile to stay bright and glistening.

Keeping Your Teeth Bright & Glistening

You can adjust your diet to consume less coffee, tea, and wine. Quit smoking, and avoid foods like blueberries or beets that may also stain teeth (or eat much less of them). If you are only dealing with basic food and drink stains like these, you can also effectively use at-home treatments. These whitening kits work best with surface stains like those caused by the diet.

Your teeth may also become yellow due to plaque buildup, which signals potential underlying periodontal disease. Regular visits with your dentist to get thorough cleanings and to address any health issues with your teeth and gums will help you avoid this type of yellowing. You can also reduce how many sugary, carb-filled foods you eat, and instead focus on vegetables, lean meat, and complex carbs high in fiber.

A strong oral hygiene routine will also help you avoid yellow teeth or reduce how often they occur.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.