Dull, white spots on the surface of your teeth are usually the result of a loss of minerals in the enamel layer of the tooth. It is common for dentists and patients alike to notice white spots on teeth after completing orthodontic treatments, but there are other common causes of white spots that may be less familiar.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Cavity-causing bacteria love to grow in highly acidic environments, such as in your mouth. Inadequate brushing and flossing techniques enable harmful bacteria to flourish. Braces, dental devices, and appliances can all make it more challenging to achieve a thorough clean during oral hygiene efforts. It's imperative to be vigilant about brushing, particularly while wearing braces or oral devices, to keep cavity-causing bacteria at bay. Poor oral hygiene can enable bacteria to strip essential minerals from teeth, causing white spots that progress to full cavities.
Fluoride is typically thought of as a good thing in the world of oral health; however, a condition called fluorosis can happen if you're exposed to too much fluoride. Those most susceptible to suffer from fluorosis are children as their smaller bodies have lower capacities for fluoride. Carefully supervising children while they brush their teeth is critical as all toothpastes that contain fluoride can be harmful in excess. Of course, fluoride in proper amounts is essential for the overall health of teeth, especially in childhood when teeth are developing and erupting. Always check with your child's dentist if you have any concerns about whether you or your child are showing any warning signs of excessive fluoride consumption.
Lack of Nutrition
A diet that lacks calcium deprives your body of the fundamental building blocks of healthy tooth enamel. Several minerals are part of a healthy and balanced diet that helps to build up tooth enamel. A lack of these minerals can mean that your teeth suffer and develop white, demineralized spots. As an example of how nutrients affect your smile, celiac disease causes the intestines to malfunction and not absorb nutrients, which leads to demineralized white spots on your teeth.
Illness and Medications
Some medicines are essential in keeping our bodies healthy. Unfortunately, some medications have also been directly linked to the development of white spots on tooth enamel. Certain antibiotics are not approved for use in children as a result. Never share prescriptions, and only use medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you do end up with white spots on your teeth after medical treatment, talk with your dentist about treating them.
Much like other physical aspects, genetics also play a role in whether or not you are likely to develop white spots on our teeth. If white spot lesions run in your family, you should take extra precautions to avoid them.
Removing White Spots On Teeth
White spot lesions are a permanent change in the structure of your tooth, and as a result, they're mostly impossible to remove. Your dentist's ability to reduce the appearance of white spots will be based on several factors, including:
- The size of the white spots
- The underlying cause
- Deterioration of the tooth enamel
- The overall quantity of spots on the tooth enamel
Regardless of Cause, Don't Delay Treatment
If you begin to see white spots, it's essential to visit your dentist as quickly as possible to prevent additional problems, such as cavities, from occurring. One of the easiest treatments in correcting white spots is micro-abrasion. In the case that your white spots are the result of something more serious, your dentist may recommend other therapies.
If you have white spots on your teeth, contact Elite Dental & Denture PC for a consultation. We can assist you in determining the cause of your white spots and develop a treatment plan for how to restore the look and function of your smile.