Lacee Hogle, RDH
What causes white spots on teeth and how do I get rid of them?
Have you ever looked in the mirror and noticed irregular chalky white patches on your teeth? If so, you’re not alone. This is a common concern for many patients. There are several possible causes for white spots on teeth including dental fluorosis, enamel hypoplasia, poor dental hygiene, and eating too many acidic or sugary foods. There are also many ways to treat white spots including enamel microabrasion, teeth whitening, dental veneers, MI paste, and composite resins. In this article, we will elaborate on the possible causes for white spots and the different ways we can treat it.
Dental Fluorosis– Fluorosis is caused by ingesting large amounts of fluoride while the permanent teeth are still forming but have yet to erupt. A major cause of fluorosis is the inappropriate use of fluoride containing products such as toothpaste and mouth rinses. In addition, fluorosis can be caused by a high level of fluoride in the drinking water. A mild form of fluorosis is characterized by small, opaque, white areas scattered irregularly over the tooth.
Enamel Hypoplasia – Hypoplasia can be either a distinct spot on a tooth (sometimes called Turner’s tooth, which might have been caused by trauma or other unknown disturbance to the area during the mineralization of that tooth), or diffuse streaks or cloudy opacities on all the teeth which was some kind of systemic disturbance over a long period of time. Hypoplasia also results from nutritional deficiencies, high fever and medicinal side effects while the tooth is forming.
Poor oral Hygiene– Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause in the formation of white spot lesions. The adherence of plaque to the enamel surface is what initiates the decalcification process. In a matter of four weeks, chalky white spots could develop. Fortunately, this is easily prevented just by brushing and flossing daily.
Eating too many acidic or sugary foods– Another thing that can cause you to get white spots on your teeth is having too many acidic foods such as sour candy and lemons. Acidic drinks, such as lemonade, can also cause white spots. These acidic foods and drinks will work to remove the enamel on your teeth which will result in white spots.
Dental Veneers– A dental veneer is a thin, protective covering that attaches to the front surface of a person’s tooth. A veneer can conceal white spots and other blemishes very effectively.
Remineralization/MI Paste– MI Paste is a product that restores the minerals that cause the white spots.
Composite restoration– The white spots on your teeth sometimes sink below the surface of the enamel creating a sunken area. If this happens, then a composite restoration is a way to deal with the problem. Composite restoration is dental procedure that uses a special type of resin. The resin is applied to your teeth over the white spots. The resin can be colored to match the rest of the teeth.
Teeth whitening– Whitening or bleaching teeth can help to reduce the appearance of white spots.
Enamel Microabrasion– This procedure involves gently removing a thin layer of surface enamel. This professional treatment is typically followed by teeth bleaching, which can make the teeth appear more uniform in color.
If the white spots have been present since childhood, your white spots are likely due to fluorosis or interruption during the formation of the enamel. If you’re an adult and your just noticing white spots, it’s likely they’re a sign of plaque buildup known and decalcification. Regardless of the cause, treatment options are available. Please discuss this concern with your dentist so that both you and your dentist can determine what treatment is best for you.
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