Why Do Teeth Darken?

Many factors can contribute to the darkening of the surfaces of the teeth. Some of these are controllable, while others are not. Some major contributing factors to discoloration include :

  • Strongly colored foods and beverages such as coffee, tea, and certain fruits and vegetables
  • Cracking and other surface damage to the enamel
  • Everyday wear and tear
  • Smoking

Use of certain medications or fluoride during the formation of the permanent teeth
Routine cleanings and diligent oral hygiene can help reduce staining caused by food and beverages, but severe staining of any kind might require more drastic measures.


For many kinds of discoloration and darkening of the teeth, tooth whitening procedures can make a dramatic difference. In-office tooth whitening, like the Zoom! tooth whitening procedure, can be performed in the dentist’s office in an hour or so. This procedure can lighten your teeth several shades in a single session.


If in-office tooth whitening or professional strength at-home treatments aren’t sufficient to correct the discoloration of your teeth, or if the staining is embedded in the deeper layers of the tooth, porcelain veneers might be necessary. These paper-thin shells are carefully color-matched and give your teeth a new, natural, stain-free look.


If your teeth are discolored due to food staining or other issues, please contact Phoenix, Mesa, and Scottsdale, Arizona cosmetic dentists Dr. Scott LeSueur and Dr. Charles Dodaro for more information about how to correct this condition.

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