10 Foods That Cause Teeth Stains

Which foods and beverages are likely to stain our teeth and cause other dental issues? Today, our dentists in Edmonton discuss types of teeth stains, what's likely to cause them and other problems that may accompany this issue.

Types of Teeth Stains

When it comes to stains on our teeth, there are many things that can cause discolouration, but there are also different type of teeth stains. Food and beverages are two of the most common causes of teeth stains. In this post, we'll cover different types of teeth stains and list 10 food and beverages likely to dull your smile.

We'll then offer a couple of tips for keeping your smile bright.

Extrinsic Teeth Stains

When the enamel (the outer layer of the tooth) is stained by factors that fall under our diet and lifestyle, such as smoking or drinking cola, coffee or wine in addition to consuming other foods and drinks. You may notice how extrinsic teeth stains on the outside of the tooth cause a yellowish discolouration. Age-Related Teeth Stains

Intrinsic Teeth Stains

This type of tooth discolouration occurs when the inside of the tooth, also called the dentin, has a yellow tint or darkens. Tooth decay, injury or tooth trauma, certain medications and using too much fluoride can cause this. Intrinsic teeth stains are much more difficult to remove as they are ingrained within the structure of the tooth.

Age-Related Teeth Stains

A combination of extrinsic and intrinsic causes can result in our teeth changing colour or darkening as we age. Your teeth may become stained over time from foods and drinks. However, the dentin below the enamel can also yellow naturally. As we age, enamel thins, allowing the yellowed dentin underneath to be dull the appearance of your teeth.

Foods That Stain Teeth

Most of these foods and beverages are favourites - and difficult to resist. However, they can be especially common causes of staining on teeth. Our Edmonton dentists often have patients wonder what could have caused their tooth discolouration. Here are some likely culprits:


You may look forward to a calming tea at the end of a long day, but did you know that many herbal, green and black teas contain tannins, which naturally stain teeth and gums? You may notice grey stains on your teeth if you're a green tea lover or yellowish stains if your go-to is black tea.

Herbal teas do not escape this list, since hibiscus and chamomile can cause discolouration and staining over time if consumed with enough regularity. Some people swear by adding a splash of cream or milk to their tea to reduce the risk of stains.

People sometimes ask us, "What kind of tea doesn't stain teeth?" You may want to try white tea, which has a light colour and flavour so is less likely to stain teeth. There i also rooibos tea, which is naturally sweet and tannin-free. In any case, we recommend limiting consumption of tea.

Tea and coffee stains do not have to be permanent and can often be removed with one or more professional dental treatments, such as teeth whitening or porcelain veneers.


With its high tumeric content, curry will lead to yellow stains on teeth over time. Try combining curry with raw fruits and vegetables to help prevent stains. Popular choices include celery, carrots, cauli

Soft Drinks

Sugary drinks and snacks produce harmful effects on teeth, increasing oral acidity and fostering the growth of bacteria that lead to cavities. Also keep in mind that sugar-free soft drinks are harmful since carbonated drinks cause wear on tooth enamel, leaving it more susceptible to staining.


While we recommend adding berries to your diet for their nutrition value, remember that they are known for staining dental enamel. You may want to consider throwing them in a smoothie mixed with milk or yogurt, and using a straw with this yummy drink to avoid staining.

Red Wine

If you've got a dull grey residue on your tooth enamel, red wine may be the culprit. This popular alcohol also contains tannins such as those in coffee and tea in addition to acids that impact oral pH. While you might enjoy a class of wine with dinner, make sure to brush thoroughly afterwards.

Citrus Fruits

Delicate tooth enamel can endure significant war due to even healthy fruits, since the acids in these fruits create an acidic oral environment that's known for wakening the outer layer of the tooth, leaving it more prone to stains.

Tomato Sauce

Another food that introduces acidity to the oral environment, tomato sauce can also leave teeth more vulnerable to staining and discolouration. You might consider adding a raw vegetable salad to your dinner table or chewing on raw broccoli, spinach, kale or cauliflower before sitting down to your plate of spaghetti or pizza. That's because these veggies can contribute to a protective environment that may protect teeth from staining.

Candy & Sweets

While we may enjoy the sugar rush, this comes at a cost to our health and our teeth, as they are another common trigger of oral acidity that promote leaves your teeth at risk of discolouration and staining, as well as plaque and cavities.

Balsamic Vinegar

Due to its natural colour and acidity, balsamic vinegar is another cause of changes in tooth colour. You may also notice more staining from other foods. Eating raw veggies with your balsamic vinegar may help. As always, remember to brush shortly after adding balsamic vinegar to your meal.

Emergency Dental Care at Emergency Dental Clinics

The foods mentioned above may have ingredients such as sugar that can cause tooth decay, which could lead to oral health issues or dental emergencies.

If your teeth are stained and they are also causing you pain, or you have cracked or broken teeth, it is likely time to see one of our Edmonton dentists. Whether it's an oral infection or injury such as a cracked tooth, we can examine your mouth, diagnose your dental issue and treat the tooth accordingly.

Teeth staining can accompany oral health issues that need urgent attention such as a toothache You may need a root canal treatment. Contact our Edmonton dentists right away. We can examine your tooth and recommend treatment options.

Have a dental emergency in Edmonton? We're here on weekends and after hours to help.

Dental emergencies always happen when you least expect them. Our friendly and experienced dental team is on call to assist you when you need us most.

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