« Back to articlePrint this article

DENTAL GURU: Are teeth supposed to be light yellow?

April 20, 2023 09:26 IST

Scaling and polishing can only eliminate external stains. They do not make your teeth whiter, says Dr Shyam Jamalabad.

Do you have dental health-related queries?

Our expert, rediffGURU Dr Shyam Jamalabad, can help.

Dr Jamalabad has over 30 years of experience in dental care. He has his clinic in Mumbai and his patients include both celebrities and slum dwellers.

Ask Dr Shyam Jamalabad your questions HERE.

Alia Bhatt

IMAGE: Kindly note this image has only been used for representational purposes. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Anonymous: What is the best home remedy for bad breath? Can it go away permanently?


Bad breath (Halitosis) is usually indicative of gum infection or decayed teeth. But it can be caused by other factors as well such as dry mouth, gastrointestinal disturbances or respiratory infections.

You should consult your dentist.

If poor oral hygiene is the cause, appropriate treatment will be advised along with instructions on proper brushing, flossing, etc.

If, after careful evaluation, your dentist rules out tooth or gum infection, you may need to consult a general physician to rule out respiratory or gastrointestinal causes.

Please be assured bad breath is treatable once the cause is pinpointed.


Anonymous: Dear Dr Shyam, i am 48 and i have been a smoker for over 20 years. What is the reason for caries that form at the base of the teeth that continues to spread damaging and dissolving the teeth completely? Is there any correlation between smoking and caries decay?


The co-relation between smoking and dental caries is established beyond doubt but the exact mechanism is not yet understood.

Please quit smoking, not just to protect your teeth and gums but for other health reasons as well.


Md: Hi Dr. My daughter often gets stain on the front tooth. What's the best dental practices to get rid of stain?


External stains are usually caused by food colours in the food or beverages we consume on a daily basis.

She should try to identify and cut out the offending item from her diet. And, of course, brushing after every meal helps.



Man: Is flossing using portable water jet machines (similar to the ones used in Dental clinics) effective. Or must one use the mechanical flossing method using flossing filaments?


Portable water jet devices are very convenient but only partly effective.

They do not get the job done as efficiently as brushing followed by mechanical flossing which clearly takes more time and effort.


Mayur: Hi Sir. I was wondering if teeth are supposed to be light yellow in colour. If so, how frequently should we get polishing and scaling done?

Hi. The colour of teeth varies from person to person.

Fun fact: Darker skinned people have whiter teeth. And vice versa.

Please note scaling and polishing can only eliminate external stains. They do not make your teeth whiter.

You can ask Dr Shyam Jamalabad your questions HERE.

Please note: The questions and answers in this advisory are published to help the individual asking the question as well the large number of readers who read the same.

While we value our readers' requests for privacy and avoid using their actual names along with the question whenever a request is made, we regret that no question will be answered personally on e-mail.

All content and media herein is written and published online for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It should not be relied on as your only source for advice.

Please always seek the guidance of your doctor or a qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Do not ever disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read herein.

If you believe you may have a medical or mental health emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital, or call emergency services or emergency helplines immediately. If you choose to rely on any information provided herein, you do so solely at your own risk.

Opinions expressed herein cannot necessarily provide advice to fit the exact specifics of the issues of the person requesting advice.

rediffGURU Dr Shyam Jamalabad