Why are my dentures turning black?

Dentures that are made from acrylic are prone to discoloration due to their porous nature. Over time, the liquids and foods consumed can cause dark stains on your false teeth, just like natural teeth, especially due to items such as coffee, berries, tomato sauce, and red wine. Tobacco use, with its tar and nicotine, can also discolor dentures and give them a yellowish tint.

If you don’t take good care of your dentures, they may start to develop black or brownish stains over time. Fortunately, there are various ways to remove denture discoloration to keep them looking clean and bright.

Understanding the causes of denture discoloration is key to adopting effective preventive measures and cleaning techniques to maintain their appearance and prolong their lifespan.

Why are my dentures turning black

Causes of Denture Discoloration

1. Smoking

Prolonged exposure to nicotine can cause the plastic base of dentures to become discolored. Cigarettes contain tar and chemicals that stick to dental appliances, resulting in a yellowish or brownish tint. Staining may make it difficult to remove the dentures, necessitating replacement.

2. Poor Dental Hygiene

Inadequate flossing and brushing of dentures can lead to plaque and stain accumulation on their surfaces. Food particles tend to collect on dentures during eating, and if not properly cleaned, they can result in discoloration. Rough plastic surfaces of dentures make it easier for food particles to adhere, leading to the buildup of stains over time.

3. Dark Foods and Drinks

Consumption of dark-colored foods and drinks can cause denture discoloration. Acrylic dentures, in particular, have tiny pits that make them more susceptible to staining compared to porcelain dentures. Foods like curry, beets, highly-dyed sweets, and drinks such as coffee, tea, and wine can leave unwanted colors on dentures. Proper cleaning immediately after consuming these items can help prevent discoloration.

Proper Cleaning Techniques for Dentures

a. Rinsing

After meals, remove your dentures and rinse them with warm water to get rid of any food particles that may be present. Thoroughly rinsing dentures before putting them back in the mouth helps maintain cleanliness.

b. Brushing

Daily brushing is essential for removing debris and stains from dentures, in addition to preventing the buildup of bacteria and plaque. Use a moist, soft-bristled toothbrush or a denture brush to clean all surfaces of the dentures. Avoid using regular toothpaste with abrasives, and opt for water and mild soap, denture toothpaste, or any other non-abrasive toothpaste recommended by your dentist.

c. Soaking

Keeping dentures moist is important to preserve their shape and prevent drying. Soak dentures overnight in warm water or specialized denture solutions, making sure to follow the instructions provided. Keep in mind that dentures with metal attachments should not be soaked in chlorine or bleach solutions for extended periods as this can damage the appliances and corrode the metal.

Stain Removal Techniques for Dentures

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

Coat dentures with hydrogen peroxide and gently brush them with a toothbrush to remove stains. Hydrogen peroxide is readily available in local retail stores.

  • Denture Bleach

Some bleaching agents are designed specifically for denture stain removal. It is important to note that regular bleach should not be used, as it may damage dentures. Dissolve a teaspoon of denture bleach in a glass of water and soak the dentures in the solution for about 20 minutes. Gently brush the dentures afterward.

  • Baking Soda

Create a solution by mixing baking soda with an equal amount of water. Use a brush to remove stains from the dentures. Baking soda can also help eliminate odors.

  • White Vinegar

Soak dentures in white vinegar overnight to clean and kill bacteria. Brush the dentures with a toothbrush in the morning to remove stains. White vinegar is a common cleaning product found in many households.

  • Salt

Dip a toothbrush in water, apply some salt, and use it to remove stains from the dentures. Alternatively, soak the dentures in a saltwater solution overnight.

Are whitening products effective on dentures?

While superficial surfaces of dentures can be polished for whitening, the actual denture teeth cannot be whitened. Unlike natural teeth, dentures may not respond to whitening products, and some of them may even contain chemicals that damage the dentures. It is important to consult with dental professionals for safe and effective bleaching options.

Final Thoughts

Proper care and maintenance are crucial for preventing and addressing denture discoloration. Regular cleaning, avoiding staining substances, and seeking professional assistance for persistent stains can help maintain the appearance and longevity of dentures.





  • Editorial team

    A team comprising oral health care professionals, researchers, and professional Writers, striving to impart you with the knowledge to improve your oral health, and that of your loved ones. 

  • Lilly

    Lilly, aka, Liza Lee, is a passionate community oral health officer and our lead writer. She's not only well-versed in performing a multitude of dental procedures, including preventive, restorative, and cosmetic, but also an avid writer. Driven by the significant oral health burden all around her, Lilly strives to build capacity and promote oral health. She envisions making a lasting impact by advancing research, prevention, and promotion efforts to alleviate oral health disparities. Please share your views and opinions on my posts.

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