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Why Are My Teeth Suddenly Turning Yellow?

Why Are My Teeth Suddenly Turning Yellow?

Seeing your teeth turn yellow without warning can come as quite a shock. It may have you asking what you’ve done to cause the issue and if anything can help get your teeth back to their whiter look. 

At Downtown Dental Studio, we offer teeth whitening as one of our many services. But it’s important to remember that behavior that causes teeth to turn yellow may do so again even after whitening. Therefore, it’s crucial to manage and control the reasons for color changes in the teeth as much as possible in tandem with whitening them.

Our providers, Fadi Beydoun, DMD, MSAlexander Kimon, DMD, and Karina Zaygermakher, DMD, are happy to advise you on how to keep your teeth as white as possible. We look forward to seeing you in our office and helping you get the smile of your dreams. 

The color of your teeth 

According to the NLM, tooth color might range from white to yellowish-white. Off-white teeth aren’t considered abnormal or unhealthy. However, when teeth change color rapidly, this could be an issue. 

One of the biggest concerns is social. A 2022 study mentioned that people with yellow teeth are often considered less attractive than those with whiter teeth. This can also lead to problems with self-esteem and difficulty finding a job. 

While teeth whitening can help, rapidly changing tooth color should always be investigated to determine its cause. This way, you can rule out any health risks or other yellowing-related problems. 

Reasons your teeth might suddenly turn yellow

Some of these reasons are natural, while others are more concerning. However, we always recommend visiting your provider if you notice rapidly yellowing teeth to rule out any possible problems. 

1. Aging 

As you get older, your teeth will age too. The enamel that protects them will begin to wear away, and the dentin underneath will begin to show. This is normal, although it can be protected with a good oral care regimen and an understanding of the dental problems seniors face.

Usually, aging alone won’t cause severe yellowing in a short period. But if you are over 65 years old and notice yellowing, it is advisable to see your provider to ensure everything is healthy. 

2. Smoking 

Smoking can cause teeth to become discolored. The tar and nicotine in cigarettes stain the teeth, and if you’ve picked up smoking recently, this could likely be the culprit. Of course, it can also start to catch up with you if you’ve been smoking for years. 

What’s more, smoking can cause many other oral health problems. Because of this, we recommend our patients stop smoking whenever possible. And remember, if you have your teeth whitened but continue to smoke, the discoloration will only return. 

3. Food and drinks

Eating and drinking certain items can cause a rapid change in tooth coloration, especially if you suddenly switch to consuming these products a lot. The biggest culprits are coffee, tea, wine, dark sodas, and starches like pasta. 

4. Certain medications

Some medications can cause teeth to turn yellow quickly. These may include antihistamines, medications that help with hypertension, and antipsychotic medications. Please don’t discontinue any medications without discussing them with your provider first.

5. Tooth decay or illness

If you have recently experienced trauma to a tooth and notice its rapid color change, this could be a sign that the tooth nerve is dying. Emergency treatment is recommended in this case. 

In addition, certain illnesses affecting other parts of the body can also wear away at tooth enamel, causing yellowing teeth. These may include liver disease, eating disorders, and celiac disease. 

Let us help you find the answers 

We’re happy to look at your teeth and help you determine what could be causing any yellowing you’ve experienced. In addition, we can discuss the option of teeth whitening or veneers.

To make an appointment at our New York City office, book online or call us at 212-964-3337. 

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