The natural shade of the teeth

Here's some information about the natural shade of the teeth

The perception of tooth colour is multifactorial. Reflection and absorption of light by the tooth can be influenced by a number of factors including specular transmission of light through the tooth; specular reflection at the surface; diffuse light reflection at the surface; absorption and scattering of light within the dental tissues; enamel mineral content; enamel thickness; dentine colour, the human observer, the fatigue of the eye, the type of incident light and the presence of extrinsic and intrinsic stains. Additionally, the perceived brightness of the tooth can change depending on the brightness and colour of the background.

The combination of intrinsic colour and the presence of extrinsic stains on the tooth surface influence the colour and thus the overall appearance of teeth. The scattering of light and absorption within enamel and dentine determine the intrinsic colour of teeth and because the enamel is relatively translucent, the dentinal properties can play a major role in determining the overall tooth colour. On the other hand, extrinsic stain and colour is the result of coloured regions that have formed within the acquired pellicle on the enamel surface and can be influenced by lifestyle behaviours or habits. For example, dietary intake of tannin-rich foods, poor tooth brushing technique, tobacco products and exposure to iron salts and chlorhexidine can affect the colour of a tooth.

With increasing age, teeth tend to be darker in shade. This can be attributed to secondary dentin formation and thinning of enamel due to tooth wear which contributes to a significant decrease in lightness and an increase in yellowness. Tooth shade is not influenced by a person's gender or origin.