Does Smoking Cause Yellow Teeth?

Updated at: Sep 09, 2011
Does Smoking Cause Yellow Teeth?

Tooth Decay - Smoking is one of the chief reasons behind yellow teeth. Chain Smoking affects the enamel of the teeth causing it turn yellow. The best way to prevent teeth from becoming yellow is to quit smoking.

Arshad Said Khan
Dental HealthWritten by: Arshad Said KhanPublished at: Jul 21, 2011

Yellow teethSmoking not only gives you oral and lung cancer in the long run its early effects can be cosmetic too. Besides plaque and hardening of the tooth, your teeth are likely to turn yellow.


How does it happen?


When you smoke you inhale about 30 different burning chemicals besides nicotine and tar. These include ammonia, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. The residue leaves a stain and gradually it becomes noticeable. The polish of your teeth wears off and they become weaker and vulnerable to damage and infections. Yellow teeth are only an indication. Those who will continue to smoke or chew tobacco regularly will gradually see their teeth turn darker and weaker. Switching to smokeless cigarettes will not help either as chemicals will still enter your mouth.


The solution


The best solution is to of course quit smoking. The first sign of teeth discolouration is an omen of residue collecting in your lungs. It is also the first sign of other oral troubles like pustules, ulcers and hardening of the palate. Anytime is a good time to quit but damage control at an early stage will be more successful. If however, you are not ready, you would think of going to the dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned and bleached. You should know that immediate smoking after a dental procedure is extremely harmful. Every smoker should note that even if you are religious about dental care you cannot escape the gradual yellowing and decaying.


Other causes


Smoking is not the only cause albeit the chief one. Antibiotics can make your teeth yellow. Especially, tetracyclines and doxycyclines. Medicated gargles that contain chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can prove to be harsh on your teeth. Mouthwashes with alcohol can also be abrasive and turn your teeth yellow. Dark food and drinks like red wine, coffee, beer, soy sauce and cherries can also be blamed. Immediate rinsing of the mouth with salt water is recommended after consuming colourful substances. It is best to avoid artificial colours in food as well. Abrasive sodas are more ubiquitous and should be at best sipped with a straw. Clear sodas are relatively safer but any carbonated drink cannot be considered healthy for your teeth.


Other factors that cannot be avoided are ageing and genetics. As people become older the natural enamel on the teeth wears off. Some on the other hand are genetically predisposed to have yellow teeth. . Much in the manner of early greying of the hair. Old people might eventually require a complete change of denture. They should consult the dentist to prolong the health of their teeth with calcium supplements. Those who wear metal caps are also susceptible to the yellowing of the surrounding teeth.

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