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Dr. Samir G. Ayoub

Why Aren’t Your Teeth As White As You Would Like?

Submitted by Dr. Samir Ayoub on July 7, 2019 - 9:00 am
Tooth Discoloration Sources

Few qualities are more appealing than a bright, white smile. If your teeth aren’t as white as you would like, it may be due to food or beverages, medications or other sources. Read on as Dr. Samir Ayoub reveals some of the common causes of tooth discoloration and stains.

Coffee, Tea and Wine

Some of the most common sources of extrinsic stains, or stains on the outside of the teeth, are due to consuming coffee, tea, red wine or soda. Foods like citrus fruits, certain berries and curry can also stain the teeth.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco is another leading cause of tooth staining. Smoking and using chewing tobacco can do more than just affect your smile’s appearance — they can also lead to gum disease, oral cancer and tooth loss.

Negligent Oral Hygiene Habits

If your teeth look dull or yellow, it may be because you aren’t as diligent about your oral hygiene as you should be. If you do not brush and floss your teeth daily, food debris and plaque can build up on your teeth and discolor them.

Tooth Damage

Have you suffered an accident or trauma that cracked your tooth enamel or otherwise damaged your tooth? Damaged or unhealthy teeth can discolor from the inside out.


Tetracycline antibiotics stain teeth as they develop in the gums. If your mother took antibiotics during the second half of her pregnancy or you took them as a child before the age of eight, you may have stained teeth as a result.

Wear and Tear

As we get older, the outer layer of tooth enamel naturally wears away, revealing the underlying dentin. Dentin has a darker yellow color. If you grind or clench your teeth, the enamel may wear more quickly than normal, and your teeth may darken or yellow earlier than they would if you did not grind or clench.

Professional Teeth Whitening Can Brighten Your Smile

Professional teeth whitening is a safe and reliable solution to yellow or dark teeth. As Dr. Ayoub mentioned in his last blog post, dentist-supervised treatment involves applying a powerful bleaching agent to the teeth to break up stains and lighten the color of the teeth.

For more information about teeth whitening and whether it is right for you, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Ayoub by contacting our San Francisco practice.