What Causes Yellow Teeth?

Knowing possible causes of yellowing teeth can help you avoid it and give you a better understanding of oral health

Are you self conscious about your yellowing teeth? Have you ever wondered if there was something you could do to make them whiter and brighter?

There are several ways to whiten your teeth but the most important thing is to understand what causes discoloured teeth and try to eliminate these things so that the results of teeth whitening last as long as possible.


Our favorite dentist in Sydney has shared his insight on how you can avoid it in the future.

Plaque build-up

Plaque, a sticky substance made of bacteria in the mouth can cause yellow teeth. When you brush, the hard-to-reach areas are often left out and this is where bacteria thrive. If you do not brush effectively, plaque will eventually accumulate and harden into tartar, which will then cause yellow teeth.

Particular food and drinks

Apples, potatoes, coffee, tea, and sodas can stain teeth. These are acidic and can erode tooth enamel, which can therefore harm the teeth and expose the dentin, a layer that is yellow in color.

Smoking or chewing tobacco

Not only smoking is bad for your health, it can also be bad for your oral health. Chemicals like nicotine and tar found in tobacco can turn teeth yellow and in the long run even leave brown stains.

Excessive fluoride

We have all heard that fluoride is good for the teeth; making it stronger and preventing tooth decay. But too much fluoride can be bad for your teeth and lead to dental fluorosis or the discoloration of the tooth enamel. The recommended amount of fluoride in toothpaste is 1500ppm, or roughly the size of a pea and less than 2mg/liter in water.


As we age, our bodies change and our teeth is no exception. The enamel, the outermost layer of teeth, get worn out and expose the following layer called the dentin, which is yellow in color.

Certain medications

Children below 8 years old are susceptible to having yellow or stained teeth if they are given antibiotics with tetracycline and doxycycline, which treat bacterial infections. Pregnant women who take these medications will also cause their child to develop yellow stained teeth. Mouth wash, antihistamines, and anti-hypertensive drugs can also stain teeth.