Teeth stains can be the result of several things. Age, genetics, lifestyle choices and oral hygiene all have an effect on the color and condition of teeth. Having a great looking smile is important for most people, and knowing why teeth appear discolored is one way to eliminate the problem.

Teeth will naturally turn dark with age.This is a fact of life and is due to the wear and tear that affects the enamel that covers teeth. Over time, the enamel layer thins, and the underlying dentin level shows through. Dentin is located under the enamel and contains teeth’s natural color. When dentin is exposed, teeth usually take on a yellow or brown appearance.

The difference in the color of old and young people’s teeth is often the result of aging. Older teeth tend to look more translucent, and this is especially true along the biting edges. Younger teeth are more uniform, and there is little difference between teeth’s color at the top or bottom of the tooth. Translucency is a natural result of thinning enamel.

Genetics are also responsible for the shade of a tooth’s dentin. Natural colors can range from yellow to gray.

Actual Reasons for Teeth Stains

Lifestyle Choices

Eating and drinking are other culprits for discolored teeth. Some foods and drinks are worse than others, and coffee, wine, tea and berries tend to stain smiles. Acidic foods are responsible for enamel erosion, and this increases the translucency of teeth. Energy drinks, sodas and juice are usually very acidic, and most have added sugar. If you like these drinks, try to enjoy them as fast as possible and save them for special occasions.


Smoking is another lifestyle choice that will quickly turn teeth brown. Nicotine deposits build up on teeth, and the residue is absorbed by the tooth’s enamel. Long-term smokers are easy to spot. Even smokers who are consummate in their oral hygiene will have stained teeth.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding is another issue that can affect teeth. Grinding, or bruxism, can cause teeth to chip or crack. When the teeth chip, the tiny fractures are more likely to stain. Teeth grinding is a habit that is usually related to stress, and the habit damages teeth, jaws and gums. In addition, grinding teeth leads to stains and discolorations because tiny cracks form in the enamel.


Antibiotics and drugs can also cause stains, especially when used for long periods during the tooth formation process. Tetracycline is one antibiotic that stains teeth, and there is a serious problem with this. The drug is highly effective at fighting acne and is often given to teenagers whose teeth are in the formation stage.

What You Can Do To Keep a Bright Smile

Regular visits to the dentist are one way to keep gums and teeth healthy. Cleaning teeth is essential and removes surface staining. Most dentists provide whitening treatments that offer brighter smiles. Adjusting lifestyle habits is essential and maintains a bright smile for years. If you are older and have translucent teeth, you should consult your dentist about whitening treatments. Many treatments are ineffective because they do not correct the underlying transparency.

See The Best Tips for Better Looking Teeth for more information.

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