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Why do teeth turn yellow?

Why yellow? Why not green, blue, or purple? Why don't they just stay white?

5127 day(s) ago

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Several reasons exist for our teeth turning yellow. Some people are born with slightly yellow teeth naturally, and only unnatural dentistry, such as veneers, can fix them. It is perfectly normal for people to have slightly yellowish teeth. The problem is that the teeth become more yellow with time. The number one reason for the yellowing of teeth is staining from foods, drinks, or other substances introduced into the mouth. Teeth are made of four layers of tissues. The innermost layer is the cementum. It attaches the root of the tooth to the jaw bone. Next, is the pulp. The pulp contains the blood vessels and nerve-endings in the tooth. After the pulp, is the dentin. Dentin helps hold together the outer layer of the tooth, the enamel. The enamel is the white layer that is exposed to the mouth and the contents introduced to the mouth.

Eating, drinking, and smoking all cause a film of particles to slowly form on the enamel of the teeth. Sometimes the film is so strong that regular brushing cannot remove it. In some cases, a whitening toothpaste can help remove the yellow film. In other cases, a home remedy of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can help remove the film. In most instances, a trip to the dentist or a dental hygienist is required to whiten the teeth. If left on the teeth, the yellow film can begin to eat away at the enamel. The enamel becomes so thin that it exposes the dentin layer below it. Dentin is naturally yellow. When it is exposed, it makes the teeth look even more yellow than the film on the enamel alone. Because it takes years for the enamel of the teeth to wear down, dentin exposure usually occurs only in older people. The yellowing of young teeth is due to staining.

Another reason for yellow teeth in children is due to the administration of a common antibiotic, tetracycline. If given too much tetracycline, children’s teeth can turn a yellowish-brown that can last into and throughout adulthood. Also, swallowing a lot of toothpaste can cause fluorosis. People with fluorosis develop chalky spots on their teeth.

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