What you need to know about teeth discoloration

Monday October 04 2021

The common cause of these stains include, foods and beverages such as starchy food and coffee, tea, colas, wine, tobacco chewing and smoking. PHOTO / SHUTTERSTOCK

By Guest Writer

Having a beautiful wide smile is everyone’s wish. Sometimes though, you find yourself not being able to smile because your teeth have stained. Teeth discoloration may occur due to age, accidents, food and beverages, toothpaste and medication among others.

What could be causing your teeth to stain? 

Teeth may lose luster over time, even for those who brush and floss frequently. There are three categories of teeth discoloration.


The discoloration mainly affects the tooth enamel. The common cause of these stains include, foods and beverages such as starchy food and coffee, tea, colas, wine, tobacco chewing and smoking.



It is a greyish stain located within the teeth making it resistant to counter whitening products .The common causes of these stains are trauma; when the tooth is injured, it prevents blood flow to the tooth causing discoloration .

Environmental fluorides from water and tooth paste causes fluorosis.

Medications such as antibiotics, antihistamines and hypertensives contain chloride, which stain teeth.

Tooth decay may cause teeth to stain.

Age related stains  

As one gets old, the outer layer of the tooth enamel gets worn away ,exposing the dentin reducing the clarity of the teeth making it darker.

Ways of preventing tooth staining 

Teeth staining is prevented by avoiding stain causing food and beverages ,avoid smoking, picking the right tooth paste, flossing between teeth ,drinking water after having drinks that stain teeth , cleaning teeth regularly 

What do you need to do if you have discolored teeth.

To achieve a brighter smile requires good oral hygiene. One should also take stain free foods and drinks, avoid smoking.

If you have discolored teeth,  it is important to get a dentist opinion before getting teeth whitening, pregnant women, those suffering from hypersensitivity and those under the age of 16, are not safe for tooth whitening due to the chemicals used in the process. Those with dental restorations cannot whiten teeth since the dentures ,veneers, crowns or caps are artificial.

Dr Muhammad Matovu is a dental surgeon at Prime Dental Clinic and the CDE Coordinator UDA