Why do I have white spots on my teeth, and what can I do about them?

Healthy teeth have a beautiful luster about them that looks very attractive, just like the pearly white teeth of children. However, some people do develop white spots on their teeth. These white spots not only mar your smile but may indicate an underlying adverse health condition. It is essential to take care of the issue as soon as you notice a white spot on your teeth or the teeth of your children.

Causes of White Spots

There can be several factors which can, individually or severally, be the causes for white spots on your teeth. These include enamel hypoplasia, dental fluorosis, poor oral hygiene, or even too much consumption of certain foods which are excessively sugary or acidic. Let’s look at some of the possible causes of white spot formation.

Dental Fluorosis

This is a common cause of white spots on teeth. Dental Fluorosis is a condition which causes mottling of teeth because of exposure to very high levels of fluoride to children whose teeth are developing. It can be a delayed result of excessive use of fluoride as a baby. On the other hand, fluoride treatment is often given to children to prevent dental decay or caries who do not have sufficient mineral content in their teeth to prevent cavities. Dental fluorosis is a harmless condition which is cosmetically managed veneers or crowns. 

Hypoplasia

Hypoplasia of the dental enamel is another common cause. It occurs. Due to the formation of enamel on the teeth which is very weak. Enamel Hypoplasia occurs only during a young age when the teeth are still developing. It cannot be ignored because it is a severe deficiency, and lack of healthy enamel increases risk of developing teeth cavities.

Poor Oral Hygiene

There is a possibility of poor oral hygiene causing white spots on teeth. This happens when the bacteria inside the plaque and tartar deposits on the teeth release acids which attack the enamel layer and result in the removal of the mineral component. When this happens, small white spots are appearing on the affected tooth which indicates the initial developmental stages of teeth cavities.  Causes for poor oral hygiene can be neglect, or difficulty of cleaning when wearing braces.

Unbalanced Diet

Lack of saliva due to various underlying medical conditions, or acidity in the saliva as a result of poor dietary balance can also lead to the deterioration of the enamel and formation of white spots. Excessive consumption of acidic or sugary foods is a common reason for raising the acidity level of oral saliva.

How to Treat White Spots?

There are multiple possible steps to treat white spots on the teeth. Exactly which treatment is suitable will depend on the underlying cause.

·         Microabrasion of Enamel- In this procedure, your dentist will rub away a tiny layer of enamel that has been affected, followed by placing a suitable filling agent. Usually, this treatment will be followed by teeth bleaching to restore a more uniform color.

·         Teeth whitening or bleaching– Teeth bleaching can be done by a professional or using any of the DIY kits available to remove the stains which develop on the white spots.

·         Dental Veneers – these are fragile plastic shells called veneers can be placed over the affected teeth to hide the white spots or any problematic stains. Surfaces must be placed by a professional and are relatively expensive.

·         Topical fluoride- Topical application fluoride on teeth with enamel hypoplasia will help reduce the white spots by promoting the development of enamel. A dentist will do this.

Prevention

As wise people say, prevention is the best medicine. It is right in dentistry also. The following practices will help prevent white spots and other dental problems.

·         Good Oral Hygiene– This is the most effective practice for preventing white spots or any other dental conditions. It would help if you practiced brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Flossing in addition to brushing will provide additional safety. The idea is not to permit food particle to remain sticking on surfaces of your teeth because that ted to get converted to acid.

·         Balanced Diet– Sugary and fatty foods are more likely to get converted acid if they remain stuck to the teeth. Avoid excessive/frequent use of such foods. If consumed brush or at least rinse your mouth thoroughly and vigorously.

·         Regular Dental Visits– This is an essential practice which people may ignore with severe consequences. Your dentist can observe things in your mouth which you cannot. With his or expert training, he or she will notice any impending problems and take or advise preventive steps. This can result in significant savings in later treatment expense and avoidance of discomfort.

White spot lesions ruin smile and facial esthetics. However, the good news is that they can be easily prevented; by eating a balanced diet, maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly.

That’s it! This is the secret to having a beautiful and charming smile.

Disclaimer: The information provided through this article is generic and is not personal dental advice, it does not take into account the physical state, medical status and/or health requirements of any particular individual, which are relevant to the proper diagnosis and treatment of any problem, condition or disorder. The person writing this article may also have researched the answer using the Internet. Consequently, you should never use or act upon this information without first properly consulting, and seeking proper information and advice from a qualified dentist.

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Preventive Dentistry Meets Cosmetic Dentistry

Many times preventive dentistry and cosmetic dentistry are split into two separate ways of thinking.

However more and more dental practices are now considering the blending of these two disciplines to ensure that preventive dentistry is always cosmetic and looks good, and that cosmetic dentistry always is as minimally invasive as possible.

This trend in dentistry is appealing to the patients and is encouraging more people to go back to see the dentist.

What is minimally invasive dentistry?

In years gone by one of the only ways of treating a patient that did not like the teeth was to cut the teeth down into stumps and place crowns (dental caps).

Then as the years progressed dental veneers became more common, these often only required a small reduction of the natural tooth with the thin and high-strength dental veneer being bonded to the surface.

The progression from this type of dental veneer led on to what is known as no-prep veneers popularised by Lumineers. The technique involves no reduction of the natural tooth tool and simply bonding the new, custom-made dental veneer to the surface of the existing to.

This type of zero preparation veneer can only be used in certain circumstances where the tooth is rather in standing. Having no preparation of the existing tooth can also, in some situations, compromised the way the dental veneer fits against the natural tooth. If this junction is compromised it can leave areas for bacteria to infiltrate and cause dental decay and disease.

Unfortunately zero preparation veneers have often been prescribed when perhaps an alternative option would have been better, typically this is down to patient pressure requesting this type of dental veneer often after seeing an advert for no preparation veneers requiring no dental injection.

The most recent advancement in minimally invasive dentistry is the use of dental bonding. This involves placing a small amount of high-strength yet malleable composite material directly onto the tooth by the dentist. The dentist slowly build up the tooth into the new shade by adding small amounts of material at a time, curing that material between each addition using a high-strength light.

These light-sensitive or light curing materials are provided to the dentist in a range of colours which closely match your natural tooth.

The final part of minimally invasive dentistry is to consider moving teeth, rather than restoring teeth. If the natural teeth are actually in good condition but simply in the wrong place, rather than make additions to the front of the teeth to build them into the correct place (by using either dental veneers or dental bonding) the minimally invasive dentist will prefer to move teeth using orthodontics.

“More and more patients are requiring that we move teeth to the correct position using invisible orthodontics, this is preferable to cutting down the teeth and making dental crowns or veneers in many cases. For anyone that is looking for a more healthy and holistic approach to dentistry this is certainly on the top of things to look out for”

Says Sia Maani from IQ Dental in Kent.

When you come to consider orthodontics you really need to ask what type you want. Generally speaking fixed orthodontics is preferred by are a lot of dentists due to its ability to move teeth naturally and quickly, however with modern advances in clear braces and teeth coloured braces these are becoming more popular as patients wish to have orthodontics with no one else knowing.

The advice of cosmetic-dental-treatments.info is to discuss your wants and desires with the dentist rather than ask for a specific treatment. If you tell your dentist what it is that you want as an outcome they can then decide on the best way to achieve this in the way that fits with your lifestyle the best.