Many different things can cause discoloration of teeth. Poor dental hygiene, certain foods and drinks, smoking, and medications can all lead to yellowing or other colors. These reasons can be extrinsic (things that come into contact with your pearly whites) or intrinsic (internal or biological events such as age).

Let’s look at these concerns closely, so you know how to address them—by going to an emergency dentist.

Examining It by Color

Discoloration doesn’t just happen in one shade. Various colors on your once-pearly whites can indicate the specific causes:

  • As you age, the enamel wears down naturally, making the yellow core of your teeth more visible.
  • Teeth may turn brown due to several factors, including tobacco use, drinking dark beverages, and poor oral hygiene. Browning of the teeth may be prevented by quitting smoking, avoiding dark drinks, and brushing regularly.
  • White spots can form on teeth when they come into contact with too much fluoride. This is called fluorosis, and it can happen when teeth are exposed to fluoride from drinking water or using fluoride toothpaste or rinses.
  • Black teeth can be caused by tooth decay or by chewing betel nuts. Exposure to minerals like iron, manganese, or silver can also cause black teeth.
  • Purple can be associated with red wine since it can stain your teeth the same color as the drink.

Prevention Tips

There are various ways to keep your teeth looking shiny and bright! If you have teeth that are stained and you want to get rid of the stains, try some of these helpful tips and methods:

  • You can try whitening toothpaste and gels, home whitening kits, or professional teeth whitening treatments. 
  • You can also make big changes like avoiding foods and drinks that can stain your pearly whites like:
    • Coffee
    • Tea
    • Wine
    • Berries
    • Soy sauce
    • Curry
    • Beets
    • Tomato sauce
  • Cut back on certain habits you enjoy. If you’re a coffee drinker, try cutting back on how much coffee you drink daily. If you’re a smoker, try quitting smoking altogether.

When you drink sugary or acidic beverages, use a straw to help keep your teeth clean. The straw will direct the liquid to the back of your mouth, away from your teeth. This can help prevent stains and decay.

  • Basic oral hygiene is necessary to maintain your pearly whites’ cleanliness and health. Ergo, brush them at least twice daily, floss at least once daily, and use an antibacterial, flavored mouthwash (after brushing and flossing). All three of these habits will help you fight plaque, a white, hard material that can form on your teeth and make them sticky or more likely to stain.

A dental hygienist can clean your teeth every six months to keep your mouth healthy and your smile bright.

  • In worst-case scenarios, if the color of your teeth changes and you don’t know why and have other symptoms, set an appointment or go directly to your emergency dentist. Never solve the problem by yourself or wait for it to go away.


Since potent substances or unknown events cause discolored teeth, it is always best to bring the concern directly to an emergency dentist, like one from Dental First! We guarantee your treatment no matter the time of day and severity. Keep our info in mind for the next time you experience a dental emergency:

  • Address: 4088 John R RD Troy
  • Telephone number: (248) 275-5750