If your teeth have started to yellow, take comfort in knowing that it’s a normal part of aging for just about everyone. Just as your hair can turn gray, your teeth can turn yellow. The enamel on your teeth is what gives them their white color, but as you age, your enamel begins to wear away. It’s actually the inner part of the tooth called dentin — not the outer enamel — that yellows.
As your enamel begins to wear away, it reveals the darker tissue that surrounds the nerves and blood vessels in your teeth. You can’t repair this erosion, so your teeth begin to take on more of a dull gray/yellow-ish color.
Along with aging though, there are also ways that teeth can get stained:
- Drinking dark liquids like coffee, tea, and pop
- Using tobacco products, which contain toxic tar
- Being exposed to too much fluoride when young, which can result in stains inside the teeth
- Poor brushing habits which result in a plaque buildup
- Tooth trauma, which can cause a tooth to die
- Taking the antibiotic tetracycline before age 10
- Grinding your teeth, which can lead to cracks and dark spots