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Help! My Teeth Are Yellow

Nothing affects your confidence like your smile. So what do you do when your teeth grow stained, yellow, or dull? There are numerous solutions to this common problem.

Dr. Peter K. Lee and our team at Today's Dentistry in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose, California, are here to answer all of your dental questions. That means you’re only an office visit away from finding the best solutions for all your smile woes. 

And, when it comes to yellow, discolored teeth, we offer safe and comprehensive whitening options that take your teeth from dingy to dazzling in no time at all. 

Taking a closer look at tooth discoloration

Your teeth may be small, but they’re surprisingly complex structures for their size. They contain an intricate network of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue underneath the two outermost layers of your teeth — the enamel and dentin. 

Enamel is the rock-hard, protective outer layer of your teeth. Dentin is the yellow inner tissue that contains a series of microscopic tubes with a direct path to your nerves. Together, these layers make your smile white, and they’re also where discoloration occurs.

Even if you have a diligent oral hygiene routine, your teeth can still become stained, dull, and discolored. This can develop for three reasons: extrinsic, intrinsic, and age-related changes.


When you have extrinsic changes, your enamel comes into contact with heavily pigmented substances — or external factors. The most common causes behind extrinsic stains include:

You can also experience extrinsic stains from certain medications and dental materials. 


It’s also possible to develop yellow teeth because of issues inside your tooth. These problems can occur as a tooth is forming or as a result of trauma. Factors that can cause intrinsic staining include:

Even harsh treatments, like radiation and chemotherapy, can discolor your teeth.


Your teeth can also become more yellowish over time. This common problem arises as your enamel's outer layer naturally deteriorates, leaving the yellowish hue of dentin more visible. Dentin also becomes more yellow with age, making it even likely to show through thinning enamel.

Fortunately, there are several options to whiten your smile, no matter what’s to blame.

Transforming your smile with professional solutions

The road to whiter teeth begins with an evaluation. First, we assess your teeth for signs of damage, infection, or other issues that will impact your whitening results. You may need a routine cleaning or other dental services like root canals before getting started. Similarly, if you have tooth discoloration that won’t respond to professional whitening, we could recommend other treatments, like veneers.

Once you opt for professional whitening treatments, we discuss your options with you. At Today's Dentist, we rely on some of the most advanced whitening systems, including Zoom!®. We also offer the option of in-office treatments and at-home regimens, so you can customize your teeth whitening experience to fit your lifestyle. 

Here’s how they work. 

In-office treatments 

When you choose in-office Zoom! treatments, you can leave our office with a whiter smile in less than an hour.

During your appointment, we apply a coat of whitening gel directly to your teeth. Then, we use a special light to activate the bleaching gel. We repeat this step three times at 15-minute intervals. 

At-home teeth whitening

When you choose at-home treatments, we take impressions of your mouth and make customized trays. Then, we send you home with your personalized, professional whitening kit. This ensures a perfect fit without leaks, and it gives you the power of getting professional results in the comfort of your own home. 

Ready to turn your yellow frown upside down? Don’t wait another minute to brighten up those pearly whites. Contact us at 408-412-3820, or request an appointment online today. 

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