Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

What the Color of Your Teeth Says About Your Health

The protective enamel surface of your teeth has a naturally bluish-white tinge. The inner portion of your teeth, the dentin, is naturally yellowish or tannish gray. In strong, young, healthy teeth, the layers of enamel hide the dinginess of the dentin.

Aging, your lifestyle, and certain drugs and diseases may discolor your teeth, leaving them looking yellow, brown, green, or spotted. The dental experts at Mosaic Dental in Sterling, Virginia, want you to pay attention to your teeth and learn about the color clues they give that could indicate a problem. 

White spots

Bright white spots on your teeth could be a sign of a condition called fluorosis. Although dentists use the mineral fluoride to strengthen your teeth, and virtually all ADA-approved toothpastes contain fluoride, too much of a good thing can be … well, not good. 

Children may develop fluorosis if they drink highly fluoridated water. They may also develop it if they use an excessive amount of fluoride products or undergo too many fluoride dental treatments. 

Red teeth

A very rare condition called porphyria may cause your teeth to look deep red or reddish brown. Porphyrias are a group of genetic diseases that affect the production of heme, which is an important part of the blood protein hemoglobin. Drugs and alcohol, as well as infections and hormones can also trigger porphyrias.

Green teeth

Your teeth may turn green because of intrinsic (internal to the tooth) factors, or extrinsic (a habit or exposure to something outside the tooth) reasons. A few causes of green teeth include:

Certain medications, such as tetracycline, may also turn babies’ or children’s teeth green. 

Gray or black teeth

If you got metal fillings in your teeth to repair and seal cavities, they could be the culprit behind your gray or black teeth. Just as tarnished silver develops black patches, the silver in your metal amalgams could discolor all of your teeth.

Brown teeth

Coffee and tea are notorious for leaving brown stains on your teeth. But worst of all may be tobacco. Chewing tobacco, especially, exposes your teeth to the pigments in the tobacco plant.

However, brown teeth could be more than mere stains. When you don’t brush the sticky, bacteria-laden plaque off your teeth after meals, it eventually hardens into a brown, crusty substance called tartar. You can’t remove tartar yourself. Only a dentist has the tools and skill to safely scrape tartar scales from your teeth. 

Yellow teeth

If you’ve read about the other discolorations and they don’t apply to you, you may now be appreciating your yellow teeth. Most of the time, yellowish teeth are caused by one or more of these factors:

If your enamel is weak or thin, over-the-counter whitening kits may further damage it over time.

Keeping or turning your teeth white 

Whether it’s factual or not, many people evaluate your youthfulness, energy, and healthiness by the color of your teeth. A bright white smile conveys strength, confidence, and good health. 

In many cases, poor dental hygiene contributes to or causes your discolored teeth. Be sure to brush at least twice daily and rinse after every meal or snack. Floss at least once a day. Visit us for a checkup and professional cleaning at least twice a year.

However, genetics do play a role in how white your teeth are to begin with. And even if you keep your teeth clean and they’re otherwise healthy, stains and aging can leave them looking less than their best. 

If you’d like to give the impression of health and vigor each time you smile, contact us about teeth cleaning, teeth healing, and cosmetic dentistry procedures such as teeth whitening or veneers. Reach out to our expert team at Mosaic Dental by calling our office or requesting an appointment online today. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Do Adults Need Annual Dentist Visits?

Do you visit the dentist enough? Only about half of American adults visit the dentist regularly. In this article, we explore the many reasons why adults benefit from routine dental exams and cleanings.

Are Baby Teeth Important to Your Child's Oral Health?

Baby teeth are just going to fall out eventually, so it’s not a big deal if your child gets a cavity or a tooth gets knocked out, right? Wrong. Healthy baby teeth pave the way to healthy adult teeth. Here’s why baby teeth need proper care.

The Dangers of Untreated Gum Disease

Gum disease can go from bad to worse very quickly if it’s not treated, leaving you with long-lasting complications that range from tooth loss to potentially contributing to dementia.

What Can I Do About My Stained Teeth?

Are your teeth stained? Read on to learn what could be causing the discoloration and discover simple, pain-free ways to get your bright smile back at home and in the dentist’s office.

Signs You Might Need a Root Canal

If you’re dealing with constant oral pain, you may need a root canal. But don’t worry — root canals aren’t dental procedures that need to be feared. These are the signs you should look for when deciding if you need a trip to the dentist.