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Teeth Stains: 4 Of Its Common Culprits You Need To Know

From sneers to full-blown smiles, our facial expressions are hardwired into our genes. Smiling is very much an innate reaction when those happy hormones kick in. The saying “you are never fully dressed without a smile” often rings true.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the confidence to flash their pearly whites for multiple reasons, one of which is stained teeth. Spots of discolouration on the teeth can vary in colour, from yellowish-brown to black-brown. The same goes for their size and shape.

The causes for stained teeth are aplenty, but it’s easy to overlook them as most cases of discoloured chompers do not happen overnight – it is a gradual process. As such, trying to narrow the cause behind your teeth discolouration is close to impossible. What you can do, however, is be mindful of the things that do affect the colour of your teeth. So if you want to know the common causes of stained teeth, here are 4 of them.

1. Foods And Beverages

Many dark-coloured foods and beverages contain chemicals known as chromogens. Similar to tannic acid found in red wine, chromogens can stain the tooth enamel, and if not careful, the stains may be permanent.

Foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrate, such as sugary breakfast cereals, white rice and more, can compromise the colour of your teeth simply by being the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. When mixed with saliva and food particles, these bacteria will form a sticky, translucent film known as plaque. If they are not removed daily, the plaque will harden into a more permanent coating, otherwise known as tartar. Once tartar has developed, only a dental professional is able to remove it.

2. Smoking

Now, it’s no secret that smoking is bad for you because of its many adverse effects on your overall wellbeing. On top of affecting one’s physical health, smoking has an adverse effect on one’s appearance too.

Nicotine and tobacco products contain particles that can stick to the pores found in the enamel. With prolonged smoking, these particles will accumulate and build up, which will ultimately cause discolouration of the enamel. Such stains tend to be darker than stains caused by other means, and they are harder to remove.

3. Too Much Fluoride

You’ve seen commercial ads of toothpaste companies boasting their product that’s packed with fluoride. So naturally, you would think that this particular ingredient is good for your teeth – which it is! It helps to protect your teeth from tooth decay through demineralisation and remineralisation.

But of course, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Too much fluoride can stain your teeth and cause white and greyish streaks to appear across your teeth. Whilst you can’t skip on regular oral hygiene, what you can do is avoid foods and drinks that are high in fluoride, such as shrimp, raisins, coffee and soda, amongst other things.

4. Trauma

If you were an unfortunate victim of a fall or accident in the past, your teeth could turn dark if they were part of the impact. Dental trauma can restrict the blood flow to the teeth, causing it to change colour. Trauma to an adult’s teeth can turn them grey or black, while trauma to children’s teeth can turn them yellow or brown.


If you want to keep your teeth nice and white, take note of these aforementioned factors and make small changes to your diet and lifestyle. Apart from that, always remember to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily.

If you find your efforts did not bear any fruit, get help from a dental professional! At Luminous Dental, we take pride in brightening lives through honest, ethical and effective dental treatment. On top of teeth whitening, our extensive list of services also includes orthodontic services with the orthodontic solution of your choice – be it metal or ceramic braces, Invisalign and more. In addition, we also offer teeth cleaning, dental implants, root canal treatments and more! So don’t wait and let us help you achieve those pearly whites back!