The microscopic pits and ridges in enamel can hold particles of food and drink, meaning pigments from dark-coloured drinks such as coffee and tea can become embedded in the cracks and cause teeth yellowing.
Tea contains several compounds that have been known to stain teeth including theaflavins, thearubigins and theabrownins which are more damaging the stronger the brew.
The publication reports that theaflavins and thearubigins are components of tannin, a type of polyphenol than comes from plants which is also used in the process of tanning leather, and can create plaque in your teeth. In turn, the build-up of plaque can lead to pearly whites turning a faint yellow colour.
Unfortunately for green-tea lovers, the healthy brew contains the highest amount of tannins, according to Victor R Preedy, author of Tea in Health and Disease Prevention.
While large quantities of tannic acid can cause stomach irritation, liver damage and reduce the amount of iron that's absorbed into the body, experts have pointed out that teas such as green and black contain tannins, not tannic acid.
However, some tannins are antioxidants and reportedly help reduce risk of heart disease and cancer and fight cavities.