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Pearly Whites or Off Whites?

"How teeth become discolored"
By: Amor Magno, DMDPearly Whites or Off Whites?

Here are common reasons why teeth sometimes appear with a brownish, yellowish, or even worse, grayish hue.

  1. You were born with it. The color of teeth is affected by genetic make up. So, look at your parents’ teeth and see if you have them to blame.
  1. Stains. There are two kinds of tooth stains: internal and external. Internal stains are mostly caused by the antibiotic tetracycline which can affect the teeth in their developmental stages. This means that your teeth color may have been determined while you were still inside the womb of your mother. So, if you are pregnant or suspect so, please see your doctor first before taking any medications. External tooth stains are commonly caused by food, beverages, and sometimes even antibacterial mouth rinses.

As a general rule, if the food that you eat may stain your white cotton shirt, then it may cause tooth staining. Other food or beverages that are known to cause tooth stains are coffee, tea, and dark sodas. Red wine, cranberry, and grape juices may also cause tooth stains. Deep colored fruits such as blue and blackberries are known to be culprits, too. Smoking is also one of the reasons why your teeth get stained. Some mouth rinses which contain high doses of chlorhexidine may also be another cause.

  1. Age. As one matures, the enamel or the outermost layer of the teeth naturally thins out which may expose the dentin (second layer of the teeth which is naturally yellowish in color).
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