• When you look at your smile in a mirror, you may notice that your teeth are not as white as they once were. Since your teeth look dull, you may be ashamed to smile. You may think that this is due to plaque buildup or a similar problem. However, even a person who follows a proper oral care routine may experience this type of issue. A number of reasons may be behind tooth discoloration and staining.

    Dietary Choices

    There are a lot of foods that may cause teeth to yellow or discolor. For example, blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries contain a high number of antioxidants, but they have an increased likelihood of staining your teeth. Also, tomato sauce is commonly behind tooth staining. This food is very acidic and has a deep red color. To prevent discoloration, it is best to avoid eating too many of these items.

    Besides foods, certain beverages may cause tooth discoloration as well. Tea, soda, coffee, and wine are usually to blame. These drinks are very high acid content, which breaks down enamel and allows staining to occur. To curb some of the problems, you should consider using a straw.

    Smoking and Other Tobacco Usage

    Another leading cause of tooth discoloration is smoking. Besides hurting your lungs, smoking negatively affects the color of your teeth. Cigarettes contain tobacco, which is the ingredient that is known to discolor teeth. Tobacco is made of nicotine and tar.  Although enamel is extremely hard, it contains pores. As you smoke, this nicotine and tar are pulled into your mouth, and they try and settle within these gaps. With time, these substances build, and discoloration occurs. To the outside world, your teeth may appear brown or yellow.]


    Certain medicines may cause tooth staining. For example, some blood pressure medicines, antihistamines, and antipsychotics may cause a yellowish appearance.

    Preventing Tooth Staining

    If you brush properly, you have the highest chances of preventing stains. Most dental experts advise that you rinse with water after eating a meal or drinking items that are known to cause discoloration.  It is also best to schedule regular professional dental cleanings. If possible, it is best to avoid food and drinks that are known to start problems. Also, it is best to quit smoking.

    Treating Tooth Discoloration

    Most external stains may be corrected by professional cleanings and by following a solid oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing after each meal or snack. Many individuals consider tooth bleaching procedures as well. Whitening toothpastes line store shelves and may help to restore a brighter smile. For more severe discoloration, professional whitening treatments are available.

    If you do not like the color of your teeth and want more information about getting a whiter smile, contact our office. Dr. Rigby’s top priority is providing patients with smiles that bring them pride. Upon consultation, you will receive tips and recommendations that will treat existing discoloration issues and problems with staining. You do not have to live with dull-looking teeth. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.