Your teeth can become discoloured by stains on the surface or by changes inside the tooth. There are three main types of tooth discoloration:​

  • Extrinsic– This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained. Tea, Coffee, wine, other drinks or foods can Stained Teeth. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains.​
  • Intrinsic– This is when the inner structure of the tooth (the dentine) darkens or gets a yellow tint. You can get this type of discoloration due to:
    • ​Exposure to excessive fluoride during early childhood.
    • Use of Tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy.
    • Use of tetracycline antibiotics under 8 years old of age.
    • Trauma that affected a tooth when you were a young child. A fall, for example, may damage the developing permanent tooth or internal bleeding discolors teeth
    • Born with a rare condition called amelogenesis or dentinogenesis imperfecta. This causes gray, amber or purple discolorations.
  • Age-related – This is a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Dentin naturally yellows over time. The enamel that covers the teeth gets thinner with age, which allows the dentin to show through.