How Does Teeth Stain?

How Does Teeth Stain?

Posted by Dr. Alicia Abeyta DDS FAGD on Mar 14 2013, 12:52 AM

Oral Hygiene

Stained teeth are very common. White teeth are attractive, but people’s lifestyles often collide. Coffee, wine, and tobacco are some of the most common staining agents. But, other lifestyle habits can also cause teeth to turn yellow as well. Stains on teeth are hard to remove. The best way to avoid having stained teeth is to take care of your teeth.

Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day can help prevent stains. By removing food particles and plaque, you can help prevent teeth from yellowing and staining.

Foods and Drinks

Foods and beverages such as coffee, tea, soda, wine, berries, and dark sauces can contribute to teeth staining. Some foods may even contain high levels of acid that can erode enamel. This can expose teeth to stains and discoloration.

If you’re concerned about the stains on your teeth, talk to your dentist about whitening options. Professional whitening can lift stains and discoloration from your teeth so you can have a whiter and brighter smile.


Tobacco use causes a variety of oral health problems, and teeth stains are one of the results. If you smoke or chew tobacco, your teeth will become yellow or brown in color. In addition to discoloration, tobacco use can also cause teeth staining and bad breath.

Smokers are more likely to have yellow teeth than non-smokers. The nicotine and the tar in cigarettes and cigars cause yellow or brown stains on your teeth. If you smoke, try to avoid smoking near other people. Cigarette smoke can stain their teeth as well as your own.


Some people have stains on their teeth due to medications. Discolored teeth are a common side effect of various medications.


Genetics can play a role in your risk for tooth discoloration. If your parents or other family members have natural yellow or brown stains on their teeth, you are more likely to experience the same thing. Additionally, if your parents experienced tooth loss due to decay, you are more likely to develop a similar condition.

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