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Colour of your tooth

What does the colour of your tooth mean?

Colour of your tooth can reveal a lot about our oral health. Whether it’s subtle changes or more noticeable shifts in colour, each hue provides valuable clues about our dental well-being. This transition, known as tooth discolouration, often manifests as diminishing brightness, yellowing, or the appearance of white and dark spots in specific areas.

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Understanding Tooth Discolouration:

Tooth discolouration is typically categorized into three main types: extrinsic, originating from external factors; intrinsic, stemming from internal factors; and age-related changes. Factors contributing to tooth discolouration include poor oral hygiene, smoking, consumption of staining beverages like tea, coffee, and red wine, and certain medications. Age-related discolouration occurs as the enamel thins, revealing the yellow dentin beneath.

Colours of Tooth Discolouration and Their Indications:

Dental professionals identify various colours of tooth discolouration, including yellow, brown, white, purple, and even green, each indicating different underlying factors.

  1. Brown Teeth Discolouration: Caused by tobacco use, beverages like coffee and red wine, untreated tooth decay, and tartar buildup.
  2. Yellow Stains on Teeth: Linked to beverages like tea, coffee, and red wine, diets high in simple sugars, smoking, certain medications, poor oral hygiene, and chronic dry mouth.
  3. Green Tooth: A less common type of intrinsic stain affecting infants, while in adults, it can be caused by poor oral care leading to a build-up of stains, bacteria, and fungi.
  4. Black Stains: Caused by advanced dental cavities, fillings, silver sulfide crowns, and the use of liquid iron supplements.
  5. Grey or Blue Teeth: Resulting from the antibiotic tetracycline, exposure to which, even in the womb, can lead to permanent blue or gray stains on teeth.
  6. Purple Undertones: Stemming from regular consumption of wine, imparting a purple hue to teeth.
  7. White Spots: Associated with cavities that may darken with time.

Yellow Tooth Discolouration Near the Gum Line:

Yellowing near the gum line often indicates the presence of dental plaque or tartar accumulation. While plaque can be managed through lifestyle adjustments and dental interventions, tartar removal requires professional dental attention.

Reasons for Tooth Discolouration in Aging Adults:

Aging adults are prone to discolouration due to thinning enamel, persistent staining from years of consuming staining substances, and accumulated damage from wear and tear or injuries.

Prevention and Care for Tooth Discolouration:

Preventing everyday surface discolouration involves adopting simple lifestyle changes like regular brushing with fluoride-based toothpaste, daily flossing, limiting intake of stain-inducing foods and drinks, rinsing your mouth after consumption, quitting smoking, and scheduling routine dental cleanings and exams.


Tooth discolouration is a common concern, but with the right care and treatment, a brighter, whiter smile is attainable. Whether through professional dental procedures or natural remedies, maintaining optimal oral hygiene and making mindful lifestyle choices are key.

Tooth discolouration,

What causes tooth discolouration?

Tooth discolouration can be caused by various factors, including poor oral hygiene, smoking, consumption of staining beverages like coffee and red wine, certain medications, and age-related changes such as thinning enamel.

What are the different types of tooth discolouration?

Tooth discolouration can be categorized into extrinsic (external factors), intrinsic (internal factors), and age-related changes. Extrinsic discolouration is caused by external factors like staining substances, while intrinsic discolouration originates from within the tooth structure. Age-related changes occur as the enamel thins, revealing the yellow dentin beneath.

What do different colours of tooth discolouration indicate?

Tooth discolouration can manifest in various colours, including yellow, brown, white, purple, green, black, grey, or blue. Each colour can indicate different underlying factors, such as staining from beverages, tobacco use, medication use, dental decay, or genetic factors.

How can I prevent tooth discolouration?

Preventing tooth discolouration involves maintaining good oral hygiene practices, limiting consumption of staining substances like coffee and red wine, quitting smoking, and scheduling regular dental cleanings and exams. Using a teeth whitening toothpaste and rinsing your mouth after consuming staining beverages can also help prevent surface discolouration.

Can tooth discolouration be reversed or treated?

The treatment for tooth discolouration depends on the underlying cause and severity of the discolouration. Professional dental treatments such as teeth whitening, dental bonding, veneers, or crowns may be recommended for certain cases. Surface stains can often be removed with over-the-counter whitening products or professional dental cleanings.

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