YELLOW TEETH: WHAT’S THE STORY?
Yellow Teeth – What does it all mean?
It could mean any of the following: 1) Your teeth are simply naturally yellowish or off-white; 2) Your teeth are stained (for example from tea, coffee or smoking); 3) You have a build-up of plaque or tartar; 4) You’ve worn away your enamel so that the naturally yellowish underlying dentin is showing through.
Why do you get yellow teeth?
One of the most common reasons teeth that are yellow is plaque or tartar build-up as a result of insufficient brushing and flossing or not going for a descale & polish at least once a year. It may also be due to surface staining from things like tea, coffee, cola and tobacco. More worryingly, it could be from the enamel being worn away, through over-brushing or acid wear, meaning the underlying yellowish dentin shows through. Teeth also tend to go yellow with age, as the enamel thins and the dentin becomes darker yellow.
Are teeth unhealthy if yellow?
Teeth that are yellow aren’t automatically unhealthy, as it may simply be your natural tooth colour or down to staining from things like tea, coffee and smoking. However, it is unhealthy if the yellow teeth is due either to erosion of the enamel revealing the underlying dentin or to plaque and tartar build-up, all of which can lead to cavities, gum disease and even tooth loss.
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Are teeth supposed to be white?
No, natural teeth are not actually ‘white’; they’re off-white, usually with either a yellowish or blue-greyish tinge. if you see someone with a brilliant white smile, it’s almost bound to be down to dental restorations like veneers or crowns, as you can choose any shade of white you like.
How can I get rid of teeth that are yellow?
If your teeth are discoloured due to plaque build-up, this can initially be treated through an improved daily teeth-cleaning routine as well as at a hygiene appointment. A good oral hygiene routine can also reduce staining as can whitening if staining persists. But if the yellow’s the result of dentin showing through worn-down enamel, this cannot be treated or reversed, although one option for a front tooth would be to cover it with a veneer.