What causes teeth to change color?

Over time, tooth enamel can change color. Enamel stains may appear light brown, yellow, pink, black, gray or as white spots. Many things can cause teeth to become discolored:
  • genetics -- tooth color can run in the family
  • aging
  • trauma to the teeth
  • illness
  • medications, such as tetracycline
  • exposure to certain foods, beverages and tobacco over time
  • ingesting more-than-optimal amounts of fluoride while teeth are developing, before they erupt

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.