Home Dental problems Attention Tooth Discoloration: These 7 Foods Discolor Our Teeth

Attention Tooth Discoloration: These 7 Foods Discolor Our Teeth

by Tijana

Radiant white teeth – that is what many people want. But they are often not aware of which products handle their discolored teeth. Because: Some foods sound harmless but cause yellow teeth. 

Tooth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration: what is it?

With tooth discoloration, it distinguishes between internal and external tooth discoloration.  The expert then calls this extrinsic or intrinsic tooth discoloration.

There are various causes for black teeth, which is why the treatment should be individually adapted to the patient. Talk to your dentist to find out whether professional teeth cleaning, bleaching or a ceramic veneer will restore a white smile.

Today, we can easily treat discolored teeth with modern technology.

Extrinsic tooth discoloration

These stains appear on the surface of the tooth and have external causes: dyes from certain foods, tobacco, or medicines accumulate there. Poor oral hygiene can also be a cause: If the plaque is not removed regularly, it will mineralize. The result is yellowish tartar.  The prophylactic assistant removes tartar with the ultrasound and with certain polishing pastes and brushes dark stains.

Intrinsic tooth discoloration

Internal discoloration can result from color storage and structural changes. This can lead to amalgam fillings, metabolic diseases, or certain medications, but incipient tooth decay, which can be mineralized again with good care, later becomes visible as black tooth discoloration. When minerals are re-deposited, dyes can accumulate in the tooth and discolor it. The “healed” caries can then be a dark point.

Internal discolorations are more difficult to treat than external ones: proper tooth brushing or thorough teeth cleaning at the dentist are then powerless. Sometimes, whitening can help, but it should be done professionally. We can only cover very stubborn stains with plastic fillings or ceramic veneers.

7 foods that stain your teeth

We well know that coffee and black tea stain our teeth. But there are some other foods that you did not know could cause severe tooth discoloration.

Acidic fruit juices

Acidic drinks such as orange juice or tomato juice attack our tooth enamel and lead to discolored teeth. The tooth enamel is first roughened by the acid it contains. Colorings from the juices can then be stored more easily. Since these juices are also high in sugar, the risk of tooth decay increases. Carious defects are ultimately also recognizable through dark areas. This internal discoloration can no longer be completely removed, even by professional teeth cleaning.

Tip: Make sure you only brush your teeth 20 minutes after consuming acidic foods, otherwise your tooth enamel will be worn away. A glass of water after consuming acidic foods serves to neutralize the oral cavity.

Red and white wine

Alcohol also causes tooth discoloration. The intense coloring of red wine in particular stains your teeth a lot. The acid in the wine roughens the tooth surface so that the surface is receptive to the color segments of the wine.

If you want to use white wine because of the less intense color, you are making a mistake: Scientists have found that white wine causes significantly more discoloration than red wine. Because white wine dissolves more calcium from deeper layers of the tooth than red wine and thus leads to more intensive discoloration despite the stronger coloring agents of red wine.

Balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is extremely popular as a dressing for salads and is used in many dishes.

But be careful: the dark dyes can lead to blotchy discoloration, while the acidic vinegar also attacks our tooth enamel and, if consumed frequently, leads to tooth erosion. This loss of hard tooth substance increasingly weakens the stability of the teeth and leads to hypersensitive tooth necks.

Therefore, limit the consumption of balsamic vinegar and use alternative dressings (e.g., yogurt dressing).

Soft drinks such as Cola, Fanta, and Pepsi

Sweet soft drinks such as Cola or Fanta are special refreshments. Most of these drinks are extremely acidic and thus damage the tooth structure. Because of the high sugar and dye content, they lead to yellowish tooth discoloration and damage your teeth. And iced tea also leads to discoloration – not yellowish, but brownish. They make it from black tea and the black color pigments stick to our teeth easily.

Note: Excessive consumption of sugary soft drinks can lead to dental diseases such as tooth decay or periodontal disease. Therefore, only drink soft drinks in moderation.

Spices like curry or saffron

Spices such as curry, saffron, or turmeric are used especially in Asian cuisine. Because of the high number of pigments, these spices leave a film of color on our teeth.

Tip: Drink a glass of mineral water after consuming spicy dishes. In this way, they wash away the color pigments and do not settle on the tooth surface.


Smoking leads to yellowish discoloration and deposits on your teeth, as it leaves permanent coloring behind. The more you smoke, the greater the extent of this discoloration. Tobacco smoke contains substances that also lead to brown discoloration.

Nicotine consumption is to blame for many general illnesses. The blood circulation in the oral cavity is worsened, and it reduces the immune defense. The type of bacteria in the mouth is also shifting towards harmful microorganisms. The result is often a disease of the periodontium: Periodontitis leads to bone loss and later to tooth loss.

Chemical chlorinated water

Although it is not a food, it still carries the risk of staining your teeth in everyday life: chlorinated water. When you swim with chlorinated water in conventional swimming pools, water often gets into your mouth. This causes chemicals to penetrate your teeth. Chlorine has a low pH value: the acid attacks the tooth enamel. This leads to unwanted yellow discoloration and tooth damage.

Please note: an occasional visit to the swimming pool is not dangerous for your teeth. If you go swimming for several hours a week, it can negatively affect your teeth.

Tooth discoloration? The solution: professional teeth whitening.

Are you dissatisfied with your tooth color and would you like whiter teeth? Professional whitening at your dentist ensures teeth whitening. Veneers are an alternative method. Here, thin ceramic shells are glued onto the natural teeth and make your teeth look whiter.

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