Discovering the Causes and Treatments of Tooth Discolouration

What is Tooth Discolouration (Yellow Staining)

Tooth discolouration is a condition that causes teeth to become discoloured or stained. It may emerge from various sources, including food and drink, smoking, lifestyle choices, medications, poor dental hygiene, and genetic factors. As dentists, we can treat this condition with several of our services, depending on the severity of the staining and the cause of the staining.

Types of Tooth Discolouration

There are two main types of tooth discolouration: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic discolouration: is caused by substances that come into contact with the teeth, such as food and beverages, tobacco, and certain medications. Intrinsic discolouration: is caused by a buildup of minerals or pigments inside the teeth. Age-related discolouration often occurs later in life.

Image of a patient in Brighton Brisbane with stained yellow teeth

The Main Causes of Tooth Discolouration

There are many causes of tooth discolouration, including:

  • Foods and drinks: Certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, colas, wines, and dark fruits, can stain your teeth.
  • Tobacco use: Smoking or chewing tobacco can also stain teeth.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Not brushing, flossing, and rinsing enough can allow plaque to build up, which could cause staining of your teeth.
  • Disease: Certain diseases that affect enamel and dentin can lead to discolouration. Treatments for some medical conditions may also cause tooth discolouration.
  • Certain medications: Common medications such as antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, antipsychotic medications, and drugs for high blood pressure can cause discolouration.
  • Dental materials: Dental materials, such as amalgam fillings, may contain pigment-producing chemicals that can cause discolouration.
  • Aging: As we age, our enamel wears away, revealing the natural colour of dentin beneath the enamel.
  • Genetics: We may have naturally brighter or thicker enamel than others, which can affect the colour of our teeth.
  • Excessive fluoride: Too much fluoride from environmental sources, or excessive use of fluoride products, can cause discolouration.


Treatments for Reversing Tooth Discolouration

The most common treatments for tooth discolouration are whitening agents, bonding, and veneers. Whitening agents may be purchased from your dentist or used at home as whitening strips. Bonding involves a dentist or prosthodontist fusing material to stain areas of your teeth to change their colour or shape. Veneers involve placing a thin shell of material over the entire front of your tooth. In addition, improving your oral hygiene and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings can help keep your teeth healthy and bright.

If you notice any changes in your teeth, you should consult your dentist to determine the cause. Your dentist may recommend one of the above treatments, or they may refer you to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment. With proper care and treatment, you can restore your smile’s brightness and enhance your oral health and prevent oral diseases.

Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Products

Dental-grade whitening products are available for use at home, over the counter, or through your dentist. These products contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the active ingredient, which helps remove stains and restore the brightness of your teeth.

In-Chair Dental Clinic Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening can also be administered at the dentist, where your dentist will apply a highly concentrated whitening agent to your teeth. This procedure is more expensive but results in brighter, whiter teeth in a shorter amount of time. New treatments, such as laser whitening, are becoming increasingly popular for deep discolouration. Laser whitening is a quick and effective method that uses controlled beams of light to penetrate the tooth enamel and break down the stains.

Cosmetic Dental Treatments for Discoloured Teeth

Dental crowns or veneers may be a better option for restoring their appearance if your teeth are severely discoloured. Crowns are placed on top of your teeth to cover any discolouration, while veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite material bonded to the front of your teeth to cover any discolouration.

Preventing Tooth Discolouration

To prevent tooth discolouration, brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss regularly, and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash. It would be best if you also visited your dentist regularly for professional cleanings to help remove plaque and tartar buildup.

Limiting sugary and acidic foods, avoiding smoking and drinking coffee or tea, and using a straw when drinking dark liquids can help reduce staining.

You must consult your dentist to determine the cause and the best treatment if you have tooth discolouration. Everyone’s teeth are unique, and the treatments mentioned above may be the wrong choice for everyone.

Schedule an Appointment Today

We offer same-day visits and late opening hours that work around your schedule. Have you noticed that your teeth aren’t as white as they used to be? Perhaps they’ve discoloured and need to be whitened? Contact our team today to discuss your teeth. We’re providers with Medibank, HCF and MDF. You can claim your health fund rebate on the spot with our HICAPS machine.

* Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.

Common Questions & Answers Related to Discoloured Teeth

Is it possible to reverse the discolouration naturally?

Yes, you simply start removing the foods and drinks that created the staining and discolouration in the first place. That, of course, is easier said than done! Hence the reasons why people come to our dental practice to ask about teeth whitening or, in worse case scenarios – veneers.

Can all types of tooth discolouration be treated at home?

Some options and remedies can whiten your teeth naturally at home. A typical concoction would be to combine two teaspoons or 10 ml of hydrogen peroxide with a single teaspoon of baking soda. Brush this concoction on your teeth a few times a week, and you will see a gradual whitening. We do, however, recommend that you do not overuse this method, as it might erode your tooth enamel.


What causes sudden tooth discolouration?

Your teeth generally won’t all of a sudden; it’s more a progression towards a darker colour of white over time that you’re going to see. Generally, your lifestyle will create stains on your teeth, for instance, heavy smoking, excessive coffee drinking or having a love for our pet hate – fizzy drinks!

Do you have many patients with yellow stained teeth at Brighton Dental Suite?

At Brighton Dental Suite, we often see patients with yellow-stained teeth. If you are experiencing this issue, we recommend scheduling a consultation with one of our dentists to determine the cause and the most suitable treatment options for your specific needs. Our team is dedicated to providing high-quality care to help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile.

What are the solutions that Brighton Dental Suite uses for discoloured teeth?

At Brighton Dental Suite, we offer a variety of solutions to help improve the appearance of discoloured teeth. Depending on the severity and cause of the discolouration, we may recommend professional teeth whitening for mild cases or more extensive treatments like porcelain veneers or dental bonding for severe discolouration.

It’s important to keep in mind that the best solution for discoloured teeth varies from patient to patient, and a consultation with one of our dentists is essential to determine the most appropriate treatment for your specific needs. So, if you’re struggling with discoloured teeth, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us at Brighton Dental Suite. We are here to help you achieve the bright and confident smile you deserve.

Concluding Comments on Tooth Discolouration

Tooth discolouration is a common condition that a variety of factors can cause. While some types of discolouration may be eliminated at home by yourself with good oral hygiene, more severe cases of discolouration may require professional treatments, such as whitening agents, bonding, veneers, crowns, and laser whitening. With the help of your dentist, you can effectively treat discolouration and restore the brightness of your smile.

Make an Appointment Today