What Causes Stained Teeth?


Quick Answer

Causes of stained teeth include certain foods and drinks, tobacco use, poor dental hygiene, certain medications, and advancing age, according to WebMD. Certain dental materials can also cause tooth discoloration.

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Full Answer

Fruits and vegetables such as apples and potatoes along with drinks such as wine, coffee, tea and colas can stain teeth, confirms WebMD. Tooth discoloration can also result from inadequate flossing and brushing to remove staining agents and plaque. Medications that may cause tooth discoloration include high blood pressure drugs, antipsychotic drugs, antihistamines and mouth rinses containing cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine. The antibiotics doxycycline and tetracycline can cause tooth staining when given to children whose teeth are still developing. Dental materials used in amalgam restorations and other procedures may stain teeth a gray-black color.

Teeth may yellow with advancing age as the enamel wears away, revealing the naturally yellow dentin underneath, according to WebMD. Other potential causes of tooth discoloration include dental trauma, excessive exposure to fluoride, genetics and certain diseases. Chemotherapy and head and neck radiation therapy in cancer patients may lead to tooth discoloration, and certain conditions in pregnant women can affect the growing enamel of the child, leading to discoloration. Enamel staining may manifest as brown spots, yellow tints or white streaks on the teeth, and treatment options include professional cleaning, whitening and veneers, according to Colgate.

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