Major causes of teeth staining

teeth staining cosmetic dentist in boca raton

Oral hygiene is important for a healthy and bright smile. Some habits and foods can cause teeth staining. Proper daily teeth cleaning, avoiding some habits like smoking, and eating a balanced diet are some precautions for maintaining healthy white teeth.

Tooth stains can be classified into two types, intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic Stains 

Intrinsic stains, also known as deep stains, cause interior sections of the tooth to darken. They are caused by certain drugs and there are mostly affect older people. Some of the causes of intrinsic stains include:


Some antibiotics like tetracycline are major causes of tooth discoloration in children. Other drugs like antihistamines, antihypertensive and antipsychotic are also known to cause the teeth to stain. Make sure to rinse with mouthwash and water as some may also cause teeth discoloration.

Dental Fluorosis 

Fluoride is highly recommended in preventing tooth decay, however, too much of fluoride will do you more harm than good by causing white spots on your teeth. This condition is known as dental fluorosis and only affects children whose teeth are still forming.


They are also known as surface stains. They are caused by outside agents causing the exterior of the teeth to stain. Major causes include certain foods and beverages and smoking.


Tobacco is one of the major causes of discolored teeth in smokers. Any tobacco product has the potential of discoloring your teeth whether you are chewing or smoking. Consider stopping smoking as the side effects are many including oral cancer and lung cancers.

Food and Beverages 

Foods and beverages that are intensely colored are the biggest culprits of staining your teeth. The more intense the color of the food or beverage, the more the damage they will cause to your white teeth. Here are some common foods and beverages that may cause teeth discoloration.


Beverages that are acidic are known to cause teeth discoloration. They include:

  • Dark colored drinks like coffee, tea, sodas erode enamel and eventually lead to permanent yellow stains if proper steps are not taken. All colors of teas-including white tea-and light sodas fall under this category.
  • Sports drinks are also acidic and can discolor your teeth as well.
  • Wines. Both red wine and white wine, which is more acidic than red wine can, stain your teeth if it becomes embedded in your teeth enamel.

While giving up these beverages is the best way to prevent teeth staining, this is not an option to many people.

The good news is you don’t have to give up the beverage that you love. You can limit the intake of the beverages. Avoid following up a glass of wine with a cup of coffee as studies have shown that teeth exposed to tea are severely stained if they had been exposed to wine too. Also rinse and brush your teeth after consuming the beverages.

Pasta Sauce 

The tomatoes in pasta sauce are acidic with bright, red hue and can cause your teeth to discolor. It is clingy, remaining on your teeth for long, further exposing them to more staining from other foods and beverages.

Balsamic vinegar 

Though balsamic vinegar is a healthy option, its dark color and tendency to cling to the teeth makes your teeth vulnerable to staining. Use of balsamic vinegar over a long period can cause your teeth to stain.


If you love Indian and exotic foods, you have probably used curry to spice your food. Repetitive use of this spice can also cause permanent yellowing stains on your teeth due to their deep pigmentation.


Berries have many health benefits including being some of the best fat killer foods due to their antioxidants. However, they are also potential teeth staining foods. Some berries like cranberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries have a deep hue that can cause teeth staining. Both processed jam or berry juices have the same characteristics of staining teeth just like whole berries.

Be mindful of what you eat and drink. The same foods and beverages that put a smile on your face could be the same that stain your smile by causing teeth discoloration. If proper teeth cleaning procedures are not taken to ensure oral hygiene, one can end up with permanently discolored teeth in the long run. This will not only affect your oral health but can also affect your self-esteem and confidence. Brush your teeth within a half hour of eating and floss daily to remove food particles that brushing may have missed. Visit a dentist, such as Cosmetic Dentist in Boca Raton for advice on the best teeth whitening options available for you.

Call Cosmetic Dentist in Boca Raton at (561) 232-2070