Why Do Teeth Darken?

Bernardsville Dentist Serving Morristown, Basking Ridge, Mendham, Chester, & Far Hills, NJ



Several factors cause our teeth to darken. Aging is one of them, and lifestyle is another. Regardless of the cause, modern cosmetic dentistry provides several options for whitening your teeth. While it's nice to know that your teeth can be whitened, knowing what causes teeth to darken gives you a preventative edge.


Already mentioned, aging is one factor that is beyond our control. As we age, the enamel on our teeth thins, becoming more transparent and exposes the thickening layer of yellowish dentine just below it. While we can't prevent the effects of aging, we can consider alternatives, like porcelain veneers to brighten our smiles.


Tooth color varies from one person to another, naturally. Some people have much whiter teeth, and others have darker enamel. Tooth whitening treatment may lighten your teeth a couple shades, but if the color is still too dark for your satisfaction, consider porcelain veneers and pick the color you want.


Topping of the list of causes you won't be surprised to find tobacco use (both smoking and chewing tobacco). This culprit seems to take its toll on every aspect of health and appearance. Tar and nicotine stain quickly, but the good news for those who quit smoking is that a professional tooth whitening treatment can restore much of your teeth's brightness and luster.


Our diets include many foods and drinks that can stain tooth enamel. Drinks such as red wine, tea, coffee, dark soda and foods that have a high sugar or dye content are the most common offenders. These stains generally succumb to our clinical tooth whitening procedure.

Tetracycline and Fluoride

These two modern medical miracles have a downside. Despite their wonderful health benefits large doses of tetracycline can cause bluish stains on tooth enamel later in life, and excessive fluoride can cause an overall darkening. These stubborn stains often give way to professional whitening treatment.

This list of causes gives you some preventive control over tooth darkening. You can modify your diet, use effective whitening products at home, and plan for periodic professional treatment to get and keep your bright white smile. Many of the foods and drinks that cause our teeth to stain have detrimental side effects on other aspects of our health; so reducing how much of them you eat or drink may improve your health in other ways, as well.

Dr. Patti Swaintek-Lamb at Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville invites patients throughout New Jersey to contact our office if you're unhappy with the appearance of your smile. For more information call (800) 672-8518 or contact us online to arrange an informative consultation in the Morristown area.