August 13, 2020
Have you ever wondered about the tiny white spots on your teeth? They are fairly common and are a form of acute discoloration known as decalcification. This cosmetic dental problem is something that many different people will experience at some point in their life. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce the appearance of these spots. Continue reading to learn more from your dentist about the cause of white spots on teeth and what can be done about them.
What Causes White Spots to Appear?
The majority of the time, white spots are caused by decalcification of the teeth. This is a process where minerals, like calcium and phosphorus, are removed from the structure of the tooth as a result of acids formed by bacteria. When it happens, the tooth enamel dissolves and leaves behind chalky white spots. Here are some reasons that this happens:
- Overgrowth of Bacteria: If there’s too many bacteria growing on and around the teeth, it eats away at the protective enamel. This occurs because the mouth is the perfect environment for bacteria to flourish. This is why it’s so important to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent bacterial overgrowth.
- Diet: If you are not getting enough calcium in your diet, you are more prone to having this type of issue. Calcium is the foundation of the teeth, so when they are deprived of it, they won’t be able to maintain strong, healthy tooth enamel.
- Too Much Fluoride: Fluoride is a natural mineral that is added to dental products and water sources to help strengthen teeth and prevent against tooth decay. However, if your child is exposed to too much between the ages of one and eight when their permanent tooth enamel is still developing, discoloration can occur. This can happen if a child swallows too much fluoridated toothpaste or if they are taking certain medications.
- Smoking While Pregnant: If you smoke tobacco products while you’re pregnant, it can cause white spots on your child’s teeth. This is because smoking during pregnancy can accelerate and promote the process of enamel hypoplasia. This thins the protective enamel and makes your child more vulnerable to infection and discoloration of the teeth.
- Medication: Some medicines can cause white spots on the teeth. This includes antibiotics like amoxicillin. Children are the most vulnerable to the effects that medication has on tooth enamel.
How Do You Get Rid of White Spots on Teeth?
In order to treat white spots on your teeth, you are going to need the help of your dentist. Here are a few ways they can be reduced.
- Teeth Whitening: Having your teeth whitened professionally is pretty straightforward and can help to reduce the appearance of white spots on the teeth. The bleach that your dentist will use breaks up your white spots into smaller stains and makes them much less noticeable.
- Porcelain Veneers: These are wafer thin shells that cover the front surface of your teeth. They are effective at concealing discoloration and other imperfections like minor chips and spaces between the teeth.
- Enamel Microabrasian: This is when your dentist removes a small amount of the protective enamel from your teeth in order to reduce the appearance of white spots.
If you are bothered by white spots that have formed on your teeth, ask your dentist about these methods so you can smile again with confidence!
About the Author
At Painesville Dental Group, Dr. Dennis J. Horvath and his team provide many different cosmetic treatments, including porcelain veneers and teeth whitening. Dr. Horvath earned his dental degree from Ohio State University and has been practicing for 38 years. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Ohio Dental Association, and Northeastern Ohio Dental Society. For more information on cosmetic options or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (440) 354-2183.
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