Tooth Stain Causes: Oral Hygiene, Tobacco, Genetics

September 12, 2023

There are a number of basic issues no one wants to deal with when it comes to their teeth, and various stains or forms of discoloration are often at the top of this list. And while certain causes of tooth discoloration are hard to avoid for physical or genetic reasons, many others relate partially or even fully to controllable lifestyle behaviors that can be altered.

At Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry, we're here to provide a full range of dentistry services to families around Layton and other parts of Utah, including options like teeth whitening and others for tooth discoloration issues. In this two-part blog series, we'll look at some of the various causes of tooth staining, including both those you can control and those you typically can't - plus what can be done about them.

Improper Oral Hygiene

Unfortunately, one of the single most common causes of tooth discoloration is simply poor oral hygiene. Poor brushing and flossing habits can lead to buildup that creates a yellow, tan or brown stain on the teeth - and unfortunately, this often occurs without any other cause being present.

Furthermore, these same habits often lead to much worse issues in the long term, so it's important to get into a regular pattern of brushing and flossing. This will not only help prevent discoloration but also a number of other serious dental health problems that can arise if your oral hygiene habits are lacking.

Tobacco Use

Another common cause of tooth discoloration is tobacco use - especially smoking cigarettes - since the smoke and chemicals can cause yellow or brown staining on teeth. This can occur with any type of tobacco product, including cigars, pipe tobacco and chewable products.

There's no question that quitting all forms of tobacco use is a difficult process, but it's one worth undertaking if you want to maintain the whiteness and brightness of your teeth. That said, even if you have used tobacco in the past, it's not too late to start getting your smile back on track.


Switching over to causes of discoloration that can't be controlled, there are some cases where genetics are the culprit. In these scenarios, the tooth enamel is just naturally thinner than normal, which leads to it being more vulnerable to staining from food and drink items like coffee or tea.

For such individuals, particular diligence in regard to oral hygiene and limiting their intake of staining items is important. In some cases, more serious whitening treatments may be necessary as well - but that's something we can help you with.

Stay tuned for the next article in this series where we'll look at other causes of tooth discoloration, including medications, diet and more! In the meantime, if you're in the Layton area and have concerns about the whiteness of your teeth or any other area of dental care, don't hesitate to contact Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry today for a consultation. We're here to help with any of your dental care needs!

Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry knows the importance of having healthy and beautiful teeth, which is why we provide exceptional dental care that you can rely on
Copyright © 2021 Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry
crossmenuchevron-downarrow-up linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram