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Why Have Your Teeth Always Been Yellow?

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Not everyone has white teeth. In fact, some people never have white teeth, even those with impeccable oral hygiene. Unfortunately, dental patients with permanently yellow teeth see little to no improvement when attempting to whiten their teeth.

If your teeth have always been yellow, then you must be wondering why that is so. There are several factors, both natural and unnatural, that cause permanently yellow teeth.

You Inherited Yellow Teeth  

Just as a person can inherit hair colour, eye colour and build, they can also inherit tooth colour and shape. Teeth are composed of two layers, the upper layer of enamel and the lower layer of dentin. Dentin is made up of 10% water, 20% organic matter and 70% minerals. It is also yellow to brown in colour.

Moreover, dentin thickness differs from person to person; however, members of the same family may possess the same amount of dentin as each other. The more dentin in your teeth, the yellower they are. Enamel thickness also plays a role. You may have inherited thin enamel, making the dentin layer more visible.

Medications Cause Yellowness

Although dentists and doctors are well aware of this issue today, it was not so well documented in the past. The antibiotic tetracycline was once prescribed to children whose teeth were still developing. However, later, medical experts discovered that tetracycline binds to the calcium in the developing teeth of babies and children under the age of 8 years old.

As the teeth are still developing, the tetracycline becomes a part of the tooth, staining it yellow or even grey. Unfortunately, as with thick dentin, whitening treatments cannot remove yellow staining of this type.

A Child's Diet May Cause Yellowing

Diet can also play a role in the yellowing of young teeth. Since the permanent teeth begin to replace the primary teeth from the age of six up until the age of 13, a poor diet between these ages can also badly stain teeth. For example, a diet heavy in staining foods and drinks, such as cola, pasta sauce and curries will stain permanent teeth early on.

As a result, it may seem like your teeth have always been yellow. Fortunately, in this case, whitening can help to remove the extrinsic stains.

If whitening isn't an option for you, you could also opt for veneers or composite bonding. If you aren't sure why your teeth are yellow, contact your local dental clinic so that a dentist can help you to identify the issue and suggest a suitable treatment.