Why Are My Teeth Losing Their Whiteness?

Why Are My Teeth Losing Their Whiteness?

Are your teeth losing their luster? The key to restoring brilliance to your smile is to first determine why the dullness is occuring.

In this blog, David Epstein, DDS, and Nikita Vakil, DMD, of The Woodlands Dental Group in The Woodlands, Texas, highlight some of the reasons why teeth can yellow and explain some of the treatment options.

Foods and drinks

Certain foods and drinks are notorious for causing stains. Some of the biggest culprits are:

It can be hard to avoid some foods, and in some cases, it wouldn’t be good to do so. For example, berries, curry, and tomatoes are excellent sources of antioxidants and other nutrients. So, when eating these foods, just remember to rinse your mouth with water, which will help reduce staining.

Poor oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene can also cause teeth to appear yellow. Plaque is a sticky biofilm that contains bacteria, and it can build up daily on your teeth if it’s not removed by brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings. If you don’t remove it, plaque can harden and turn into tartar. Tartar can appear as yellow, brown, green, or even black.

Side effects of medication

Certain medications can stain teeth yellow or brown. For example, two antibiotics — tetracycline and doxycycline — are well-known for their impact on enamel, especially in children. Other medications that can cause staining include:

Even if your prescription medications or mouthwashes stain your teeth, never change or discontinue your medication schedule unless directed to do so by the prescribing physician. 


Smoking not only increases your risk of developing oral cancer, but it can also stain your teeth. The nicotine and tar in cigarettes are to blame for the stains. If you need help quitting, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. 


Aging can also contribute to teeth staining. As you age, your enamel can wear down and become thinner. With this happens, the dentin layer — which is naturally yellow — can start to show through the enamel. 

What to do about stained teeth

Here at The Woodlands Dental Group, we can help make your smile gleam again. First, we examine your teeth and ask you questions to find out what’s causing the yellowing.

Once we determine the cause, we develop a treatment plan. For example, if you have surface stains, we may recommend teeth whitening options. Our team offers professional in-office laser whitening, which can help you reach your goals quickly. Or, if you’d rather whiten your smile in the comfort of your home, we also offer professional-grade take-home whitening kits.

On the other hand, if the yellowing is due to issues under the surface that can’t be treated by whitening, we may recommend veneers. Veneers are thin porcelain shells that cover the outer portions of the front teeth. They’re customizable and can enhance the size, shape, and color of your teeth.

No matter what’s causing your teeth to look dull, we can develop a plan to help them shine again. To learn more, call 281-367-3085 to book an appointment with The Woodlands Dental Group today.

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