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Are Yellow Teeth a Sign of Poor Health?

Posted on 4/1/2024 by Weo Admin
Close up comparison of before and after teeth whitening treatment on a man's smileYellowing of teeth is not always a sign of poor health. Lifestyle choices and aging contribute to the yellowing of teeth without any underlying health issues.

What Is the Natural Color of Teeth?

Naturally, the enamel of your teeth is supposed to be bright white. This explains why teeth are commonly referred to as pearly whites. However, some people are born with a thin enamel layer, which exposes the second layer of teeth, known as dentin. Dentin has a slight yellow tint, and when the enamel layer is thin, then the dentin is exposed, explaining a slight yellow hue in some people.

What Causes Teeth Yellowing?

Lifestyle choices

Corrosion by acidic materials thins the enamel layer of your teeth, exposing the dentin. Citric acid and phosphoric acids eat and corrode your enamel in a process known as demineralization. Soft drinks, cheese, shortening, cereal bars, bottled coffee, and processed meats contain acids capable of eroding your enamel.

Smoking, chewing tobacco, and overconsumption of alcohol can also discolor your teeth, giving them a yellowish tint. Alcohol is acidic, and it demineralizes your teeth with excessive consumption.


Teeth tend to be yellow as people age. Naturally, the enamel mechanically wears out over time due to biting, chewing, and when teeth grind against one another. Again, exposure to citric acid and other corrosive agents will have corroded a good part of our enamel by the time we age.

When Is Yellowing of Teeth a Problem?

Yellowing of teeth due to the above-stated reasons does not signify a problem. However, you should be worried about the yellowing of teeth due to tartar buildup. Tartar is an acidic layer that accelerates the erosion of your tooth enamel while harboring harmful bacteria. When the yellowing of your teeth is caused by tartar build, you have reason to worry.

Tooth decay and the prolonged use of some medications can also cause the yellowing of teeth. Gum disease causes the yellowing of teeth near the gum line. Sometimes, prolonged use of medications, including antihistamines, can also cause teeth discoloration. All these instances should not be ignored.

Closing Remarks

Talk to your dentist when your teeth start turning yellow. A comprehensive assessment can help establish the cause of yellowing and rule out serious health issues.

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