Yellow Teeth: Top Ten Things You Should Know (2024)

Are you worried your teeth aren’t perfectly white? Should you be? Here’s everything you need to know about yellow teeth – and how to fix them.

By Dr. Georgina Carrasco | Updated on 23 August 2022

Are yellow teeth such a problem? Are they a sign of bad health, or just an esthetic issue?

Indeed, our smiles are one of the first things people notice about us. So, it’s natural we’re self-conscious about them. The size, shape, and yes, color of our teeth are all things we may worry about.

Tooth discoloration is something that can affect anyone. Even if you’ve got perfectly shaped and aligned teeth, you can still experience tooth yellowing. This can be a blow to self-confidence and self-esteem.

But before you head for yellow teeth treatment in San Diego, here’s what you should know.

What Causes Yellow Teeth?

There are many reasons teeth may be yellow, or become yellow. One of the most common is eating and drinking foods that stain the teeth over time, such as:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Blueberries
  • Tomato sauces
  • Spices

Smoking or chewing tobacco is another big factor in yellowing teeth for many people.

However, it’s important to note that yellow teeth don’t always result from stains from dietary or lifestyle decisions.

Yellow Teeth: Top Ten Things You Should Know (1)

Coffee is one the most popular drinks in the world. However, it is also one of the most common reasons why some people have yellowish teeth.

Teeth will naturally turn yellow over time as the enamel wears down, revealing the dentin underneath. “Dentin” is one of the inner layers of the tooth and is naturally a yellowish color. It can be quite sensitive when exposed.

Tooth color is also partially genetic – you may just be born with naturally more yellow teeth. It’s the same way that two people of the same ethnicity may have slightly different shades of skin.

Yellow Teeth: Top Ten Things You Should Know (2)

Are Yellow Teeth Normal?

Yes. It is perfectly natural for teeth to be slightly yellow.

For almost a hundred years we’ve had the “Hollywood smile” thrown at us as a picture of beauty, with perfectly white, evenly shaped teeth. While this is undoubtedly a nice esthetic, it’s not an indication of what normal, healthy teeth can and do look like.

Yellow Teeth: Top Ten Things You Should Know (3)

We all dreamed of having the perfect Hollywood smile. But, the perfect smile we long to have is actually not an indication of normal and healthy teeth.

From genetic factors to simply the passage of time, yellow teeth are perfectly normal.

Are Yellow Teeth Healthy?

This will depend on why they’re yellow.

As we said above, it’s perfectly normal for teeth to turn yellow due to age, diet, or lifestyle choices. Yellow teeth are not unhealthier than white teeth.

However, yellowing can be a sign of poor oral hygiene or infection in the mouth. So while the yellowing itself is not a cause of poor oral health, it can indicate poor oral health.

Poor oral hygiene can result in tooth enamel being worn down, revealing the yellow dentin beneath. Infection can also cause bacteria to eat at the enamel, yellowing the teeth.

When Should You See A Dentist About Yellow Teeth?

The simple answer is when it bothers you.

If your teeth have rapidly changed color, this could indicate a problem. It would be a good idea to have a dentist examine your teeth to look for underlying issues.

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Talk to your cosmetic dentist if your yellow teeth are already bothering you. Teeth discoloration may indicate a more serious issue with your oral health.

Otherwise, if you’re unhappy with the color of your teeth and would like to look into changing it, see your dentist for yellow teeth treatment in San Diego.

How Can I Avoid Yellow Teeth?

The simplest way to avoid yellowing your teeth is to avoid certain foods and drinks, and also tobacco and nicotine-containing products. Combine this with a good oral hygiene routine and twice-a-year dental cleanings (here at Blyss Dental in Del Mar), and you’ll maintain your tooth color for longer.

Acidic drinks such as citrus juices and fizzy drinks will also contribute to your teeth staining, and can even make the stains deeper in the enamel than normal.

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Maintaining good oral hygiene is still the best way to prevent yellow teeth.

None of that is to say you should completely avoid your morning coffee or an evening glass of wine. Just be aware that these foods and others will contribute to staining over time.

Damage to your teeth can also contribute to staining. This can be damage sustained during sports or other physical activities, or grinding your teeth. If you have a grinding problem, it’s a good idea to see your dentist about getting a dental splint to protect your teeth.

How Can I Fix Yellow Teeth?

Once teeth have become yellow, there are only two major options:

Teeth whitening, or dental veneers.

Which treatment option you go for will depend on the type of staining. Is the yellowing extrinsic – that is, on the surface, such as food-related stains – or intrinsic – in or under the enamel, due to aging, damage, etc.?

If the issue is extrinsic, then teeth whitening is for you. There are many types of teeth whitening (see below) but they all work on the same principle: bleaching the teeth to remove stains and coloring, leaving teeth whiter and brighter.

If the issue is intrinsic, teeth whitening won’t be effective. The only option will be to use veneers to effectively hide the teeth behind thin layers of material, typically porcelain or dental composite.

I invite you to explore how to get rid of yellow teeth with a consultation in our dental clinic here in Del Mar. Let’s determine what teeth whitening method is appropriate for you.

Should I Get Teeth Whitening?

If you don’t like the color of your teeth and your staining is extrinsic, then it’s entirely up to you!

Whitening your teeth provides no health benefits. It’s purely a cosmetic procedure. If there’s an underlying cause behind your tooth color, then whitening will not help to solve it. It must be addressed separately first.

Otherwise, teeth whitening is a fast, incredibly effective way to make your teeth whiter and brighter.

What Teeth Whitening Options Are There?

Teeth whitening falls into two categories:

  • In-chair whitening
  • At-home whitening

In-chair whitening is done at your dentist’s office. It’s more expensive, but in an hour or so you can brighten your teeth 5-7 shades. This is done with specialists using carefully applied bleaching materials for the best, fastest results.

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If you want a brighter smile, consider undergoing in-office teeth whitening treatments such as Zoom or laser.

At-home whitening is sold as a kit that you make and wear at home. Every day for a few hours you wear the whitening kit with the bleaching material inside. Over a few days or weeks your teeth will whiten up to 5 shades or so.

At-home whitening is more cost-effective but takes more time. You can buy whitening kits at the supermarket or chemist, but it’s best to get them from the dentist. They can make a custom mouth tray that perfectly fits your teeth for better results.

Both methods can achieve similar results. The primary difference is price and speed.

How Much Whiter Can I Make My Teeth?

With teeth whitening, you can’t pick a specific shade. Everyone responds to whitening differently, similarly to how everyone tans at different speeds. The only guarantee is that you will have significantly whiter teeth.

You can get multiple whitening sessions in a row, but it’s best to space these out to avoid overdrying your teeth.

If you get dental veneers to hide teeth yellowing, you can select the exact shade you want the veneers to be.

Where Can I Get Teeth Whitening?

You can come straight to us! We offer in-chair and at-home teeth whitening kits. We even provide take-home kits to help maintain your whiter teeth if you get in-chair whitening.

Yellow teeth are perfectly normal and in most cases, absolutely healthy. But if you’re after a brighter, more pleasing aesthetic, contact us today to find out how we can help you!

About the Author

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Dr. Georgina Carrasco

Dr. Georgina practices dentistry in Del Mar in San Diego, California. She works hard to stay ahead of the curve on dental implantology and cosmetic dentistry. She shares her insider tips and knowledge to help you make better dental care decisions.

Know More About Blyss Dental

Yellow Teeth: Top Ten Things You Should Know (2024)


Yellow Teeth: Top Ten Things You Should Know? ›

Natural teeth are normally tinged with grey or yellow. Basically, it's the thickness and shade of your enamel which impact the color of your teeth. Don't worry if you brush daily and your teeth still remain yellow. It could just be that they're that shade naturally.

What are the best things for yellow teeth? ›

Remedies for yellow teeth
  • Brushing your teeth. Your first plan of action should be to brush your teeth more often and in the correct manner. ...
  • Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. ...
  • Coconut oil pulling. ...
  • Apple cider vinegar. ...
  • Lemon, orange, or banana peels. ...
  • Activated charcoal. ...
  • Eating fruits and vegetables with a higher water content.

How yellow is ok for teeth? ›

Natural teeth are normally tinged with grey or yellow. Basically, it's the thickness and shade of your enamel which impact the color of your teeth. Don't worry if you brush daily and your teeth still remain yellow. It could just be that they're that shade naturally.

Is yellow teeth a turnoff? ›

Your romantic life. In our modern day of internet dating and blind date setups, first impressions can be a big, big deal. That said, few people include “canary yellow teeth” on their list of turn-ons. In fact, both men and women commonly find yellow teeth a turn-off at best and a deal breaker at worst.

What does it mean when the top of your teeth are yellow? ›

Teeth ultimately turn yellow as you get older, when enamel wears away from chewing and exposure to acids from food and drink. Most teeth turn yellow as this enamel thins with age, but some take on a grayish shade when mixed with a lasting food stain.

What cancels out yellow teeth? ›

"Purple toothpaste contains color-correcting pigments that are meant to counteract yellow or off-white discoloration," said Chen. "The purple coloration is designed to neutralize yellow stains, enhancing the natural whiteness of the teeth."

Can yellow teeth become white again? ›

Fortunately, there are ways of making your yellow teeth white, from improving your oral hygiene and diet to visiting the dentist and having them professionally whitened. There's no need to feel ashamed of your smile anymore.

Are yellow teeth more attractive? ›

In the survey of 4,906 people, 80% of respondents said yellow teeth are less attractive than white teeth. Additionally, 38% of respondents described their teeth as yellow, and of this group, 33% cited poor oral health as the main cause, DentaVox found.

Do people notice yellow teeth? ›

It's hard to determine how any one person would judge someone with yellow teeth. Some people might judge you, some might not, and others may not even notice!

At what age do teeth start to yellow? ›

If your child is about 6-7 years old and their permanent teeth have started to erupt, you may notice that their permanent teeth look quite a bit more yellow than their baby teeth. Good news: this is normal.

Are yellow teeth a red flag? ›

Tooth discoloration or yellow teeth can occur for various reasons, including age and genetics. If you notice sudden and severe discoloration, it may be a red flag for an underlying dental issue, and you should consult a dentist.

Are yellow teeth rotting? ›

Many people notice that their teeth are more yellow near the gum line than the tips of their teeth. While a yellow hue near the gum line can be an early sign of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems—it is usually an indication of dental plaque or tartar.

Why are my teeth so yellow no matter what I do? ›

Poor Oral Hygiene: Poor oral hygiene is one of the causes of yellow teeth, but even the most diligent brushers and flossers can develop the discolored teeth that occur simply with age. Fluoride: Excessive fluoride exposure is also among the causes of stained teeth, especially in children.

Are some people's teeth naturally yellow? ›

However some people have teeth appearing naturally yellow irrespective of the kind of foods they have. It is because the dentin layer beneath the enamel is naturally yellow. The color of the dentin is barely visible for some while in others who have thinner enamel the yellow shade appears more visible.

Why do my teeth look yellow in the mirror? ›

The yellowing of your teeth can be the natural result of aging, particularly because your enamel slowly wears away due to chewing. This can happen despite good dental habits when yellowish dentin starts showing through thin enamel.

Can I recover from yellow teeth? ›

Whitening rinses are another way to get rid of yellow teeth. They contain oxygen sources such as hydrogen peroxide. These react with the compounds staining the teeth, helping to lift them. Using a rinse twice a day for 1 minute at a time can lead to a one to two shade improvement in tooth color within 3 months.

What can I do if my teeth are very yellow? ›

Using a toothpaste containing baking soda and hydrogen peroxide may help reduce yellowing of the teeth. A 2012 study found that using a toothpaste containing baking soda and hydrogen peroxide reduces tooth staining and improves whiteness.

How can I whiten my teeth quickly? ›

Seven Ways to Naturally Whiten Teeth
  1. Eat Strawberries. One of the simplest ways to naturally whiten your teeth is just by eating strawberries. ...
  2. Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables. ...
  3. Brush After You Eat or Drink. ...
  4. Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar. ...
  5. Apply Coconut Oil. ...
  6. Brush Your Tongue. ...
  7. Use Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide.

How can I cover up yellow teeth? ›

Try opting for lipsticks that have a slight blue hue to them. The faint appearance of blue can actually make the teeth appear whiter than they really are. Red colored lipstick is a very popular style and it also contains a blue tint, which will make your teeth look more attractive.

Are yellow teeth permanent? ›

Adult teeth will eventually lose their yellow shade, brightening and whitening over time. If your child's teeth are uneven in their coloring now because their permanent teeth are erupting, just give it some time. As long as they follow good oral hygiene practices, the color should even out into a white smile again.


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