Why is my teeth yellow?

May 6, 2021
Why is my teeth yellow?

It’s hard to not notice the not-so-white teeth. After all, we see it almost every time. At certain times, it can be discomforting especially when we are surrounded by people with whom we talk with. So, we ask “why is my teeth yellow?”


Tooth discoloration is the change in color of your teeth — be it in the shade of brown, black, purple, too white, and, the most common, yellow. There are varieties of reasons why such visible stains occur. Some form naturally, while others are caused by our daily actions. Fortunately, we can do something to prevent tooth discoloration and many ways to treat it.


In this article, we will only focus on common concerns about discoloration but the same methods can be done on other related matters. Down the paragraph trail, you will be able to learn about the following: what stains our teeth, misunderstandings, and ways to treat discoloration.

Let’s dive in.

Why is my teeth yellow: A woman confused about how her teeth became yellow

A woman confused about how her teeth color


Knowing what yellow teeth means (& misconception)

Contrary to popular belief, yellow-colored teeth may actually mean healthy teeth (for particular cases). Enamel, the outside layer, is blueish-white in color and a bit translucent. Beneath it is the dentin, a hard tissue with natural yellow color. So, when your tooth’s color is yellowish, it may be in its natural state.

According to scientists, yellow teeth means strong and natural teeth (as compared to paper-white ones). In addition to above-stated reason, this type of teeth are not affected by certain chemical reactions from whitening products which, in some circumstances, tend to weaken the enamel.

In particular cases however, yellow teeth means a damaged one. Bleaching products is one of the things you should keep an eye on. When not used as directed, it can remove a layer of enamel and eventually make a crack which gives rise to side effects like sensitivity to cold.

(For safe and effective whitening treatment, you may contact us here or purchase our world-class quality products.)

On the other hand, if you notice your teeth’s yellow color is darker than the standard lighter shade, it might be an indication of the presence of a disease or tooth decay (watch out for that!). This primarily roots from the formation of plaque or tartar buildup around your teeth and gums which, if not treated immediately, may lead to cavities and gingivitis.


Other components to consider in understanding what yellow teeth means are the extrinsic and intrinsic stains. These two pertain to categories of causes of tooth discoloration.


Generally, extrinsic stains arise from consuming dark-colored food and beverages (e.g. colas, dark sauces, grapes) and smoking which leave a mark on the surface of the teeth. Intrinsic stains, meanwhile, are stains that form within the tooth (dentin) which are caused mainly by medications and chemotherapy.


Knowing what yellow teeth means (& misconception)

Teeth whitening session at The Smile Bar Philippines


Causes of yellow teeth and affiliated risks

Going further with the causes of yellow teeth, listed below are some of the internal and external factors that you should know.


  • Illness: People with certain medical conditions are likely to have such discoloration or stained teeth particularly those who undergo chemotherapy and radiation (e.g. neck or head cancer patients).
  • Medications: Certain types of prescriptions stain the surface of the teeth including those drugs for people with high blood pressure and asthma. Other medications which are causes of yellow teeth include antibiotics tetracycline, doxycycline, mouthwashes that have chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride, antipsychotic drugs, and antihistamines, among others.
  • Age: Another popular cause of stain is aging. As we age, the enamel slowly wears off showing the yellowish tissue inside (dentin).
  • Genetics: Some people are naturally born with thicker enamel compared to others.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily should be done to ultimately reduce, if not completely remove, the stain-producing substances or plaque in your mouth and also improve bad breath.
  • Diet: As previously mentioned, certain food and drinks are part of the causes of yellow teeth, including colas, coffee, tea, curry, red wine, and vinegar. Check other teeth-staining food here.
  • Fluoride: Yes, the ingredient that’s in our toothpaste. Too much fluoride exposure actually turns teeth yellow or brown.
  • Trauma: Damage to enamel formation due to accidents, especially in children, can stain the teeth.
  • Grinding: Also known as bruxism, this unconscious habit of some while asleep brings the enamel to slowly break and turn yellow.

Tar and nicotine in the cigarettes are one of the causes of yellow teeth

Tar and nicotine in cigarettes are one of the causes of yellow teeth

How to whiten teeth: At-home and In-office methods

Now that you know what causes teeth to yellow, it’s only as important for you to understand how to whiten yellow teeth or, better, prevent them.


To start, getting professional help is almost always highly recommended so that you get a better grasp of your dental condition and get accurate whitening treatment. If you’re looking for one, you may book a session with The Smile Bar and let the specialists handle the procedure safely.


If you’re searching for easy at-home remedies, however, we have your back. We’ve rounded up for you some of the natural and basic ways on how to whiten yellow teeth that you can do at your home.


  • Brush your teeth: Toothbrushing at least twice a day with a teeth-friendly toothpaste (e.g. adequate amount of fluoride) is yet the most effective and sustainable process to remove stains and plaque. To get better results, some experts suggest the use of an electric toothbrush which gives more strokes per minute than the traditional ones.
  • Whitening toothpaste: This type contains a small amount of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide which helps to lighten the color of teeth. You may avail of these products over-the-counter or online at The Smile Bar Philippines.
  • Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda mixture: Another way on how to whiten yellow teeth is through using these two ingredients as a paste which aids in reducing bacterias in your mouth and removing stains. To make it, just mix 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide with 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
  • Activated charcoal: This method not only removes stains from the teeth but also gets rid of toxins in the mouth by absorbing it. Not all charcoal products, however, are good for your teeth. For best yet safe and sustainable results, grab yourself a HiWhite Charcoal Toothpaste.
Tooth brushing with baking soda is a known effective method of how to whiten yellow teeth

Tooth brushing with baking soda is a known effective method of how to whiten teeth


Answer and solution to “why is my teeth are not white”

To sum it all up: poor dental hygiene, excessive use of fluoride, consumption of teeth-staining food and beverages, smoking, and enamel-breaking habits are just some of the extrinsic factors one should prevent from doing in order to maintain and sustain bright white teeth. Although some contributing elements are inevitable (e.g. genetics and age) making it hard to not ask ‘why is my teeth yellow’, there are still other things we can do to at least slow its pace, if not totally erase.


Knowing the sources first ultimately serves as a great foundation in one’s journey to lighter and healthier teeth. This way, one may know what he should avoid. Furthermore, it is best coupled with getting professional help so as to keep away from unreliable and untested teeth whitening procedures.

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