Causes of tooth discolouration- those pesky brown and yellow stains! Part 1

Causes of tooth discolouration- those pesky brown and yellow stains! Part 1

There are probably more sources of tooth discolouration than you realise, and just like everyone has different hair and skin colours, we all naturally have different coloured teeth too. Some teeth are just inherently yellower than others but there are plenty of other contributing factors that could be causing your teeth stains. Did you know there are endogenous stains and exogenous stains, intrinsic stains and extrinsic stains?  Let’s break them down for you so you can understand the causes of different stains you may have or want to prevent!

Endogenous Stains. These stains occur while teeth are developing before they even erupt from your gums as a child.
Exogenous Stains. These stains occur after your teeth have developed and they’ve come through your gums.
Extrinsic Stains. These stains occur on the outer layer of your teeth known as enamel and tend to look like yellow or brown spots on the surface of your teeth.
Intrinsic Stains. These stains are actually located within the tooth structure itself known as dentin. They are therefore beneath the enamel and are more difficult to remove.

Now that we know the technical terms for different types of stains lets look at the main causes.

Poor oral hygiene will lead to build ups of plaque and other stain producing substances that will discolour your teeth. Good oral hygiene is discussed in our blog The Importance of Good Oral Health if you need any tips.

Age affects so many parts of our body and unfortunately our teeth colour is yet another one. As we age the enamel on our teeth is worn away exposing more of the dentin layer and dentin is naturally more yellow in colour than enamel.

Fluoride while good for developing teeth and used in treatments- in the right amounts, in too high amounts it is known to cause discolouration in teeth.

Medications and some of their side effects can result in stained teeth. Chlorhexidine and Cetylpyridinium Chloride mouth washes used to treat gum disease are known to cause brown spots. Different antihypertensives, antibiotics, antihistamines and antipsychotics all contain ingredients that cause discolouration too.

Diseases that affect your teeth enamel, like acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause yellowing of teeth. Diabetes increases the risk of gum disease, tooth decay and cavities which once again leads to discolouration.

We will continue with the causes for tooth discolouration in our next blog but if you are wanting to get rid of any stains on your teeth before then try our Pro Whitening Kit and our Pro Whitening Pen today!




The information on this site is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics and is provided for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for advice provided by your own physician, dentist or other medical professional whom you should see with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.