Oral Health and Genetic Risk Factors

How Teeth Whitening Only Works on Some Types of Yellow Teeth

Teeth whitening can transform a dull smile into a dazzling smile. If your teeth are yellow or stained, teeth whitening might be just what you need to give your smile a makeover. But whitening doesn't work on all types of yellow teeth. Some teeth are yellow for reasons other than stains.

You Can Whiten Teeth Stained By Food or Tobacco

The whitening treatment can remove extrinsic stains from teeth. In other words, you can whiten teeth that have turned yellow due to exposure to food pigments and smoke. This is because those kinds of stains are extrinsic. They don't penetrate to the deeper layers of a tooth. The hydrogen peroxide in the whitening gel is able to remove these stains easily.

But if you drink coffee regularly or smoke heavily, then you might need several weeks to achieve the shade of white that you desire.

You Can't Whiten Teeth That Are Stained Because of Tartar

If your teeth are yellow because they have a layer of tartar on them, you cannot whiten them until you have removed the tartar. Tartar is the hard, chalky substance that forms on your teeth when you don't brush them often enough. The most common area of tartar formation is that of the lower central incisors in the front of your mouth.

If you have yellow teeth due to tartar, have a dental hygienist scrape the tartar off your teeth before you go in for whitening. Although you can probably change the shade of tartar slightly, the shade will never match that of your enamel because they were never the same to begin with. And in fact, if you whiten your teeth without removing the tartar first, the tartar will become more visible than before.

You Can't Whiten Teeth That Are Yellow Because of Dentin

Inside every tooth, under the hard layer of enamel, is a spongy, chalky layer of material that dentists call dentin. Unlike enamel, which is white, dentin tends to be yellow. Unfortunately, some people have more dentin than other people do. This means that the dentin shows through more easily, and causes their teeth to appear yellow.

And dentin is easily visible in worn teeth, where the enamel surface is no longer thick enough to hide dentin. Teeth whitening cannot whiten dentin. If your teeth are yellow because you have thick dentin or thin enamel, then composite bonding or porcelain veneers are a better option for you.

For more information, reach out to a company like Dr. Zielinski & Associates Dental Clinic.