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Why Do Teeth Lose Their Whiteness as We Age?

Why Do Teeth Lose Their Whiteness as We Age?

Fine lines and wrinkles are the most common and well-known signs of aging, but you might be surprised to learn that the passage of time can also impact your teeth.

Even if you practice optimal oral hygiene, preventive dental care, and a healthy diet, you might have noticed that your teeth aren’t as bright and white anymore. But that doesn’t mean you must live with dull, yellow teeth forever.

Dr. Ramin Mahallati and our team at the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry in Beverly Hills, California, offer restorative and cosmetic dentistry options to help you look and feel your best at every age.

Why do teeth lose their whiteness with age?

Oral health depends on several factors, and some are out of our control.

From wear-and-tear to diet, trauma, and enamel loss, the signs of aging eventually appear on our teeth.

A common cause of stains and discoloration is enamel loss and the darkening of the dentin layer due to aging. As tooth enamel thins, the tooth surface becomes more vulnerable to staining due to food, drink, and tobacco use.

Certain medications may also contribute to stains and tooth discoloration if you have underlying health conditions. Genetics and family history also play a role.

Finally, trauma from an accident or injury and previous dental treatments can also contribute to tooth discoloration.

Types of dental stains

There are two main types of tooth stains. Extrinsic stains develop closer to the surface of the tooth and are mostly caused by foods and drinks like coffee, tea, red wine, and acidic sauces. Smoking is a significant cause of extrinsic stains. Professional teeth whitening treatments usually work well for eliminating extrinsic stains.


Intrinsic stains develop deeper in the tooth and are often caused by trauma and damage to the dentin layer. Teeth whitening treatments aren’t as effective for these types of stains.


As we age, our teeth often develop a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic stains, making our teeth look more stained and discolored over time.

What you can do to ensure a whiter, brighter smile as you age

Optimal oral hygiene and preventive dental care are the best defense against oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease, as well as the cosmetic appearance of your teeth.

If it’s been more than six months since your last dental exam and cleaning, schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Professional teeth whitening treatments are an excellent option to significantly whiten your teeth in just one appointment. 

If you have stains caused by damage to the dentin layer, porcelain veneers may be a better option. 

Along with dental care and good oral hygiene, eating a healthy diet and avoiding tobacco promote optimal oral health.

For more information about professional teeth whitening and other cosmetic dentistry services available at the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry, contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mahallati at our office in Beverly Hills. 


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