Wicker Park Dental Group
woman smiling with yellow teeth

Yellow Teeth: Are they a sign of poor oral health?

May 2, 2022
Posted By: Wicker Park Dental Group
woman smiling with yellow teeth

Are you worried about your wellness because you’re embarrassed that your teeth aren’t white? Some people think that yellow teeth are a sign of poor oral hygiene. However, that’s not always the case.

A healthy, white smile is on just about everybody’s wish list, but it’s crucial to achieve this goal by prioritizing your well-being and achieving effective results. Wicker Park Dental Group offers proven professional teeth whitening via in-office treatments and convenient take-home kits. Take the first step to transforming your smile by contacting our Chicago dental team.

While there’s nothing wrong with coveting whiter teeth, there may also be nothing wrong with your oral health if your teeth are slightly yellow. Here’s why:

Tooth Structure and Translucency

Our teeth consist of multiple layers, and each layer blends to create the distinct color of our teeth. Enamel is the white, protective layer of the tooth. But, underneath the enamel is the dentin, which supports the enamel and has a naturally yellowish hue.

It’s normal for dentin’s yellowish hue to shine through the enamel. Yet, some people’s enamel is naturally more translucent or thinner than others. So, your genetics can determine how yellow your teeth are, and that’s perfectly normal.

Outside Forces that Can Cause Teeth to Become Yellow

Aside from genetics, your lifestyle choices can also reflect how yellow your teeth become. Factors that can contribute to excessive discoloration or thinning enamel include:


Coffee, tea, berries! Oh my! There are so many highly pigmented foods that are teeth-staining culprits.

Tobacco Use

Nicotine is a toxic, highly addictive chemical compound found in tobacco leaves and is more than an unhealthy addiction. The powerful chemical leaves its users with yellowish or brownish dental surface stains, and when comparing smokers and non-smokers,

  • Smokers report higher levels of moderate to severe levels of tooth discoloration.
  • Smokers are more likely to be dissatisfied with their tooth color.

Oral Hygiene

Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth helps remove plaque and prevent tartar deposits from forming, which causes teeth to look more yellow along the gumline.


Bruxism, or involuntary teeth grinding and clenching, is an unconscious habit that terrorizes many people. Bruxism is quite destructive to enamel, causing deterioration to the point of fracture and yellowing.

Excessive Use of At-Home Whitening Treatments

Although it’s possible to whiten your teeth with over-the-counter or do-it-yourself methods teeth whitening methods, we cannot guarantee that it’s as safe or effective as professional teeth whitening solutions. Some at-home products contain dangerous chemicals that can damage teeth beyond repair, causing issues much more extensive than yellow teeth.

If you must try to whiten your teeth on your own, please choose a whitening product with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to ensure safety and efficacy.

Our Chicago Dentists Can Dramatically Whiten and Brighten Your Smile

Are you ready to start your journey to the smile you’ve always wanted? Call  (773) 276-5566 or message us online if you are near Chicago. Our Wicker Park dentists are eager to help you achieve your cosmetic dentistry goals.

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