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Family Care Dental Clinic

Tooth Discolouration: 8 Common Causes, Treatments, Prevention, and Professional Teeth Whitening

Tooth Discolouration: 8 Common Causes, Treatments, Prevention, and Professional Teeth Whitening

Tooth discolouration is when the colour of your teeth change. They don’t look as bright or white as they should. The teeth may darken, turn from white to different colours, or develop dark spots in places. The good news? Many of these discolourations are preventable and even treatable.

Here’s what you need to know about the causes of tooth discolouration, and what you can do to keep your pearly whites looking their best.

8 Common Causes

There are several causes of tooth discolouration, including:

  • Foods/drinks: Coffee, tea, soft drinks, wines, and certain fruits and vegetables (for example, apples, and potatoes) can stain your teeth.
  • Tobacco use: Smoking or chewing tobacco can stain teeth.
  • Poor dental hygiene: Not brushing, flossing, and rinsing enough to remove plaque and stain-producing substances.
  • Aging: As you age, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth wears away, revealing the natural colour of dentin.
  • Disease: Several diseases that affect enamel (the hard surface of the teeth) and dentin (the underlying material under enamel) can lead to tooth discolouration.
  • Medications: The antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline are known to discolour teeth when given to children whose teeth are still developing (before age 8). Mouth rinses and washes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can also stain teeth. Antihistamines (like Benadryl), antipsychotic drugs, and drugs for high blood pressure also cause teeth discolouration.
  • Dental materials: Some of the materials used in dentistry, such as amalgam restorations, especially silver sulfide-containing materials, can cast a gray-black colour to teeth.
  • Environment: Excessive fluoride either from environmental sources (naturally high fluoride levels in water) or from excessive use (fluoride applications, rinses, toothpaste, and fluoride supplements taken by mouth) can cause teeth discolouration.


A few other lifestyle changes may help prevent teeth discolouration:

  • If you’re a coffee drinker or smoker, consider cutting back or quitting.
  • Drink with a straw. This can help keep stains away when you drink soda, juice, or iced coffee, or tea. The liquid won’t get near the visible front surfaces of your teeth.
  • Improve your dental hygiene by brushing, flossing, and using an antibacterial mouthwash daily. All three can help you fight plaque, a white, hard material that forms on your teeth. It makes them sticky and gives stains something to hold on to.
  • Have your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist every 6 months. It will keep your mouth healthy and give you a brighter smile.
  • If the colour of your teeth change without ready explanation and other symptoms are also present, make an appointment to see your dentist.


Treatment options to whiten teeth can vary depending on the cause of the discolouration and may include:

  • Using appropriate tooth brushing and flossing techniques
  • Avoiding the foods and beverages that cause stains
  • In-home whitening agents purchased from your dentist
  • In-clinic whitening procedures. If you get your teeth bleached at your dentist’s office, it may take one or more visits. They will put a protective gel or rubber shield on your gums and then apply a bleaching agent to your teeth. They can also make a custom-fitted tray that you can use at home with whitening gel.
  • Bonding. A dentist or prosthodontist fuses material to stained areas of your teeth to change their colour or shape.
  • Veneers. A dentist or prosthodontist puts a thin shell of material over the entire front of your tooth to change the colour or shape.

Professional Teeth Whitening

You may have noticed that you teeth as a child is whiter as compared to now. Maturing would lead into the discolouration of the teeth if you don’t take care of it along the way.

However, if you’ve already lost the glow in your teeth, you might find it timid to talk with people in a professional setting. Most of the time, it’s undeniable that our physical appearance has a lot to do with our confidence. Many people find that they are concerned by those discoloured teeth in socializing with others. However, with all the technical advances in modern medicine, professional dental teeth whitening can now help with these concerns.

Professional dental teeth whitening is one way where you can gain whiter teeth with clinical methods and products. These processes could be laser and pen bleaching and the products would be whitening gels and strips. To get even more successful results, the dentist will recommend a whitening toothpaste that you can use. You may also get available teeth whitening kits so you can perform them at your own house. But if you go to a dentist and undergo some methods, the effects would be faster and much longer to last.

A brighter and glowing teeth would really make you feel more confident in yourself. You can smile, laugh and talk all you want without having to worry about what they would say about your teeth. People around you would surely notice your whiter teeth and confidence and be happy about it. Surely, this is with the help of professional dental teeth whitening. Most importantly, always make sure to follow your dentists recommendations when using the professional strength whitening systems at home.


Keeping Our Patients Safe During This Unprecedented Time:

Under the guidance of the BC Provincial Health, the College of Dental Surgeons of BC and the BC Dental Association, we have implemented strict new clinic standards and safety measures in order to help protect our patients and staff, which include:

  • Pre-screening all patients for COVID-19 prior to accepting in-person appointments.
  • Checking temperatures of all patients and our clinic members using non-contact forehead infrared thermometers.
  • Requiring all our clinic members wear PPE at the clinic premises.
  • Requesting patients bring their own mask and put on the mask prior to entering the clinic.
  • Providing hand sanitizing stations and following strict hand hygiene protocols.
  • Increasing the frequency of sanitization of high-touch areas and surfaces.
  • Limiting the number of people in the clinic at one time and practicing physical distancing protocols.

The health & safety of our patients has always been our top priority. We encourage everyone to stay safe and to follow the directions of Health Canada and your local health authorities.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us! Great thanks for your understanding and support!


Contact Family Care Dental Clinic for your consultation today!

Located in the heart of North Vancouver, BC, Family Care Dental Clinic is a group of passionate dentists and dental experts who are committed to providing patients with exceptional dental care in a modern and relaxing environment. We at Family Care Dental Clinic offer our clients a wide range of comprehensive dental services for the whole family.

Call (604) 987-3545 or write us at to schedule an appointment with a member of our excellent team!

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