Discoloured or "Yellow" Teeth

Sudden discoloration of teeth and treatment

Discoloured Teeth: Causes and How to Whiten Teeth

Discoloured teeth can occur for several reasons. The more worrying discolouration with teeth is when they appear black or have staining, like brown spots on the outside of the tooth. But as cosmetic dentists, we understand better than most the appeal of a gleaming white smile - and it's our wonderful job to help you achieve it once more. With any discolouration case, we urge patients to book a consultation so we can understand the causes of their problem better and recommend the right treatment based on our examination. Organise a consultation

What causes teeth to go yellow?

You’ll likely know by now the causes of discoloured teeth – typical everyday causes are beverages like tea, coffee, smoking and acidic drinks (even sparkling water).

And you might wonder, “Why are my teeth yellow when I brush them daily?” Rarely known causes are brushing your teeth too hard (which you might be doing to ensure they’re clean) or using agents like whitening toothpaste.

The layer under your enamel is yellowish, so when you brush too hard or use abrasive culprits like whitening toothpaste, you’re wearing down the white enamel (enamel erosion) and exposing the yellow dentin. Teeth also discolour over time, and as we age, they look darker in appearance.

Even more reasons

In tooth discolouration cases, a black tooth is caused when the roots of the tooth are dead and when oral hygiene is maintained poorly.

In some severe cases of tooth decay, black teeth, caused by tooth decay and cavities, can cause teeth to appear black in colour – these stains are not helped by either a build-up of tartar or plaque.

If you experience sudden discolouration of your tooth or teeth, it’s really important to book an appointment with us so we can dive into the root cause of your problem.

Are discoloured teeth normal?

Is it healthy to have black, brown or yellow teeth?

We might all dream of having the perfect Hollywood smile, but the dream smile we all long to have does not always indicate normal, healthy teeth.

It’s perfectly normal to experience yellow teeth when they’re caused by age, diet and lifestyle choices. However, discoloured teeth signify a problem.

More often than not, they can be a sign of poor oral hygiene, infection and tooth decay. Poor oral hygiene results in tooth enamel being worn down, revealing a yellow dentist below. Infections like gum disease can also cause bacteria to eat your enamel, yellowing the teeth.

You should see a dentist about discoloured teeth to identify the underlying cause. For example, if you have discolouration (black teeth or brown spots), you should seek professional dental care immediately. In cases where teeth have changed rapidly in colour, it could indicate serious problems under the surface.

Don’t damage your teeth

Using at-home remedies like baking soda can cause more damage to your dentition, and we highly advise you to stay away from at-home methods to whiten your smile. Similarly, at-home whitening kits bought online or from a shop can be costly, produce poor results and cause damage with repeated use over time. Lighten with a dentist instead.

How much whiter can you make teeth?

Some professional whitening solutions carried out by dentists can whiten teeth up to 16 shades – that said, everyone responds to tooth whitening differently, but you should expect significantly whiter teeth, where results will grow more present as the weeks go on. Tooth whitening will need to be topped up every 12 months.