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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