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In this post, you will get all the information and background that will help you understand why you have yellow teeth and more importantly – what you can do about yellow teeth.

There are both intrinsic and extrinsic factors that can make your teeth appear yellow. This post will help you achieve your best smile.

The most important facts in brief

  • Tooth discoloration can be caused by extrinsic and intrinsic factors.
  • Cucumbers, pineapples, apples, strawberry seeds, mineral water, and carrots not only have a cleansing effect on teeth but have also been shown to whiten them.
  • The color pigments in the foods discolor the teeth, while particularly hot spices or acidic foods attack the enamel, discoloring the teeth.

What causes yellow teeth?

Discoloration on teeth can be caused by both extrinsic and intrinsic factors.

A distinction is made between tooth discoloration inside the tooth bone and enamel (intrinsic) and between tooth discoloration caused by dental deposits (extrinsic).

You yourself have no influence on intrinsic factors. Discoloration of the teeth occurs during tooth development or during the natural aging process of the teeth.

But don’t worry, you can also act on the discoloration of your teeth and thus reduce yellow teeth because extrinsic discoloration of the teeth can be counteracted.

Tooth discoloration due to dental plaque is mainly caused by eating and drinking or by medication.

What causes yellow teeth

Background: What you should know about yellow teeth

What are factors that discolor my teeth?

As you have already learned, tooth discoloration is not only caused by plaque or tooth buildup but internal mechanisms and processes can also affect the color of your teeth.

In the following, I would like to introduce you to other factors that can make your teeth yellow:

  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Diet.
  • Drinks.
  • Antibiotics.
  • Smoking.

The good news is that you can counteract most of these factors and make your yellow teeth shine white.

Genetic predisposition

Tooth discoloration can be caused by genetic predispositions. If your mother or father has a tendency to yellow teeth, there is a good chance that you will also experience yellow discoloration on your teeth.

Everyone’s tooth color is different. Some have very white teeth by nature and others have more yellowish teeth.

It is therefore clear that yellow teeth do not necessarily have anything to do with dental hygiene.


Dyes and ingredients in food can discolor the teeth through plaque or dental deposits. Of course, this does not apply to all foods, but only to some foods that are on the menu.

You can find a list of foods that stain your teeth here:

FoodDishOrigin of tooth discoloration
Soy sauceYou can find soy sauce especially in Asian dishesPigments can cause stains
Curry spiceCurry spice is popular in curries or spicy foodsLeaves a film on the teeth
Balsamic vinegarIs especially popular in salads or with tomato mozzarellaHas a demineralization of the enamel as a result
SaffronSaffron gives curry or risotto its certain spiceLeaves a yellow film on the teeth
BlueberriesTaste good pure or in dessertsThe dark pigments leave stains on the teeth
Sour cherriesSour cherries taste good pure or also in dessertsThe intense dye discolors the teeth

Particularly acidic foods or color-intensive foods are usually the foods you should avoid according to the rule of thumb to avoid yellow teeth.

The color pigments in the foods discolor the teeth, while particularly hot spices or acidic foods attack the tooth enamel and thus discolor the teeth.

Attacking the enamel results in demineralization of the tooth enamel, which can quickly lead to caries and the like.


Especially the tasty, sweet drinks can discolor the teeth yellow. If you want to avoid yellow teeth, you have to avoid soft drinks, juice, tea, coffee, and alcohol.

The acid contained in various types of tea, especially black tea and green tea, attacks the enamel of the teeth and discolor them yellow.

While drinking tea usually only results in discoloration on the teeth, drinking too much coffee can cause stains on the teeth.

These can have a yellowish, brownish, or even black color. This results both from the black color of coffee and from the strong acidity in the form of bitter substances that coffee contains. Dark alcoholic beverages such as red wine and soft drinks such as cola and iced tea are also beverages known to discolor teeth.


Depending on the active ingredient of the medications you take, they can stain your teeth. The active ingredient tetracycline, in particular, is known to discolor teeth and/or cause stains to appear on teeth.

Especially pregnant women and children under the age of 8 should refrain from taking medications with the active ingredient tetracycline.

However, antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, or neuroleptics can also discolor teeth. Another factor that can make your teeth appear yellowish is a metabolic disease. These can attack your tooth enamel and dentin.


Smoking is not only harmful to your lungs, but also to your teeth. The tobacco contains settles on your teeth and discolors them.

But substances such as tar and nicotine also settle on your teeth and lead to dental deposits.

Smoking is particularly aggressive to the teeth. Tartar buildup is not uncommon, and teeth can turn yellow, brown, or black.

What are factors that discolor my teeth

What causes yellow stains on the teeth?

Stains on the teeth can be very unattractive for the person concerned and can be a real blemish. Basically, a decision can be made between yellow and white stains on the teeth. While white stains are usually a result of an overdose of fluoride in youth, yellow stains from the teeth result from a disorder of the tooth enamel.

The yellow stains can result both from taking medications in childhood, diet, or from diseases.

Especially in children, yellow stains often appear on the teeth, because the enamel of children is still very sensitive to noxae. Noxae are external influences on the teeth.

What do yellow teeth say about my health?

Teeth cannot reflect your health one hundred percent. However, individual health complaints can be read on the teeth.

Extrinsic factors such as metabolic diseases have an influence on the color of our teeth and can make them yellow. However, psychological stress, which affects your health, can also affect your teeth.

Psychological stress usually has a negative effect on eating habits, leading to increased consumption of sugary foods that are harmful to teeth.

Why does my child have yellow teeth?

Teeth can be more sensitive, especially during the growth process. The enamel of children’s teeth in particular is still very sensitive and reacts quickly to noxious substances and thus environmental influences. Once the enamel has been attacked, the teeth can quickly turn yellow or become stained. This is due to the demineralization of the enamel.

Another cause why your child has yellow teeth is incorrect brushing. Dental care can be done quickly wrong, so the brushing of the teeth of children should be observed from time to time.

It is important that your child does not brush his teeth with too much pressure and does not use too hard bristles.

Both attack the tooth enamel, which is already very sensitive. Regular brushing is also essential for healthy, white teeth. Taking medication as a child can also cause yellow teeth. You should take special care that your child does not use any medication containing the active ingredient tetracycline.

Can I bleach my teeth at home?

Before you have your teeth whitened or bleach them at home to get rid of the annoying yellow haze, you should consult your dentist.
Only your dentist can tell you exactly whether tooth whitening makes sense or whether professional teeth cleaning is sufficient. Furthermore, you should check whether the bleaching will damage the ceramics that you may have in your teeth.

Basically, there is nothing against bleaching your teeth if they are healthy. However, if you tend to have sensitive teeth, you should refrain from bleaching.

Especially the enamel is more susceptible to acids after bleaching, which means that you have to pay attention to your diet, otherwise the desired bleaching effect will backfire.

toothbrushes for white teeth

What to do against yellow teeth?

Teeth are a person’s calling card. White teeth are not only considered the ideal of beauty but according to studies, they have also considered a success factor at work and in private life. How you can avoid yellow teeth or whiten them again, you will learn in the following.

  • Avoid yellow teeth through a healthy diet

A healthy diet helps you whiten your teeth and avoid yellow teeth. Especially sugary foods should be removed from your menu and replaced with healthy foods.

But be careful: Especially dark foods, like delicious berries, are a temptation for your teeth. The dark color pigments can discolor your teeth.

Therefore, rather reach for neutral foods. However, there are foods that whiten your teeth.

Cucumbers, pineapples, apples, strawberry seeds, mineral water, and carrots not only have a cleansing effect on the teeth but have also been proven to whiten them.

  • Avoid yellow teeth by brushing properly

When brushing your teeth, many mistakes happen that I’m sure you’ve already internalized into your routine.

Proper tooth brushing has no rule of thumb, how often and how long you should brush your teeth. This can be determined very individually. However, dental care twice a day is recommended.

Furthermore, the bristles of the toothbrush should not be too strong, otherwise, they will attack your tooth enamel and gums.

Also, the pressure you exert on your teeth when brushing them should not be too high. A light hand while brushing your teeth is more effective and healthier for your teeth. You should not brush your teeth in circular motions, but rather in shaking motions from top to bottom.

A brushing time of 3 minutes is recommended.

  • Avoid yellow teeth with professional teeth cleaning

A professional tooth cleaning is recommended twice a year to guarantee dental health and to make the teeth appear white in the long term and reduce yellow discoloration. A professional teeth cleaning has a high-cost factor in contrast to the other ways to avoid yellow teeth.

  • Avoid yellow teeth with beauty products

There are many beauty articles on the market that advertise to make yellow teeth bright and white again.

Whether bleaching tools or tooth whitening toothpaste, they all want to whiten your teeth. Many products now also work with light to whiten teeth.

For example, Best activated charcoal toothpaste

You should pay particular attention to the ingredients. Products that contain activated charcoal are recommended. Due to its molecular structure, activated charcoal transports dirt away particularly effectively. Regular use of mouthwash can also prevent yellow teeth. The mouthwash is particularly effective if you use a mouthwash that promotes tooth enamel.

  • Avoid yellow teeth with home remedies

There are a variety of home remedies that can whiten your teeth and remove the yellow haze from your teeth.

One way to clean your teeth to remove yellow stains is to clean your teeth with salt and olive oil no more than twice a week. The salt effectively cleans the teeth and removes discoloration while also smoothing the teeth.

Also, a mouthwash made of lemon juice whitens the teeth and removes yellow discoloration, as lemon juice generally has a bleaching effect.

It is very easy to use: simply rinse the mouth with lemon juice for two minutes and then spit it out.

Every two weeks you can also brush your teeth with baking soda. However, after using it, you should avoid acidic foods. The kitchen herb sage is also a real helper to make yellow teeth appear white again. To do this, simply take a few sage leaves and chew them.


Yellow teeth are not only unattractive to look at, but can also be a statement about your health. However, you can easily whiten yellow teeth yourself through a healthy lifestyle, proper brushing, and healthy dental hygiene.

Jessica Clavits

Jessica Clavits

Hi! I'm Jessica! I keep this blog about personal care.

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