Why are some of my Teeth Darker than Others?

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Tooth colour varies from person to person and many individuals simply have a much lighter enamel than others. Changes in your overall health can also serve to change your teeth colour. This could be down to a side effect of a prescribed medicine you are taking or it may be a direct result of a medical condition you are suffering from. It is important to inform your dentist if you think there is a medical reason for the darkness of your teeth. Similarly, there is a variation in colour between your teeth, with your front teeth usually being the whitest and the rear teeth tending to be much darker.

However, in the majority of cases tooth discolouration will have occurred due to stains. Stains are typically split into two main categories, intrinsic and extrinsic stains. Those which occur on the outer layers of the tooth are extrinsic and can usually be cleaned off using scraping or scouring. However, intrinsic stains penetrate deep inside your tooth and will usually require a chemical treatment to clean them away. Stains can be caused by an excessive intake of certain drinks like coffee, tea and red wine. Similarly, cigarette smoke can also cause deeply penetrating stains as it leaves brown nicotine deposits on the inner layers of your tooth.

Genetics also play a role in the colour of your teeth with studies indicating a strong hereditary factor in tooth colouring. Your teeth will also tend to lose their whiteness as you age with many people developing a yellowish tint. In some cases medication such as certain antibiotics can cause staining and, in children, an excessive intake of fluoride can affect tooth colour.

Read more in the Dental Treatment Information Guide »