Teeth lose their luster for a number of reasons, including:

  • Poor at-home care
  • Using tobacco products like cigarettes or chewing tobacco
  • Drinking beverages with dark pigments, like soda, wine, or coffee
  • Eating foods with dark pigments, like berries or carrots
  • Early exposure (before 8 years old) to certain antibiotics, like tetracycline or doxycycline
  • Medications, such as certain antihistamines, antipsychotics, and high blood pressure medications

There are many natural factors that affect the color of your teeth, as well, such as your age. As you age, the hard outer layer of your teeth (enamel) becomes thinner, allowing the soft inner layer of your teeth (dentin) that is naturally yellow to show through more clearly.

Genetics can also play a role in the color of your teeth, since the porousness of your enamel is actually an inherited trait, and more porous enamel is more transparent.