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White Spots on Teeth: What Do They Mean?

Everyone desires to have white teeth for that sparkling smile. However, sometimes that desire is curtailed by tiny white spots that appear on the teeth making one overly self-conscious ultimately negatively impacting their self-esteem.

What Do White Spots on Your Teeth Mean?

White spots on teeth are a form of discoloration on the teeth. They form a shade of a white color that is conspicuously different from the rest of your teeth color. White spots are not harmful to your teeth though sometimes they can be an early sign of tooth decay. It is therefore essential that you visit your dentist for a check-up and the right advice.

What Causes White Spots on Teeth?

There are various causes of white spots on teeth, such as excess fluoride, vitamin deficiency, infections and illnesses, trauma on teeth, poor dental hygiene, dental hypoplasia, and consuming many sugary or acidic foods and drinks, plaque, dry mouth, among others.

Types of White Stains on Teeth

Fluorosis: Fluorosis can cause white spots due to exposure to excessive fluoride, which is consumed through excess fluorides in drinking water, swallowing of fluoride-containing toothpaste, and some supplements that contain fluoride. Too much fluoride causes tooth decay and discoloration appearing as tiny white, yellow or brown spots.

  • Decalcification: Decalcification or demineralization is a process through which essential minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are eroded from the teeth by acids formed by bacteria. The bacteria dissolve the enamel leaving undesired white stains on your teeth.
  • Plaque accumulation: The prolonged build-up of bacteria causes plaque due to poor oral hygiene. The highly acidic environment in the mouth creates a good breeding ground for bacteria which compromise the enamel making it weak. Weak enamel is easily eroded, causing white or yellow-brown spots on the teeth.
  • Diet: Diet that is low in calcium predisposes you to teeth problems such as white spots. Calcium is the foundation for strong teeth; thus, calcium deprivation weakens the enamel making it susceptible to white stains. Consuming foods rich in calcium such as leafy greens and almonds minimizes chances of developing white spots.
  • Enamel hypoplasia: Hypoplasia is a condition where one typically has less than average enamel. Also called the turners tooth, it is common among young children but can also affect grownups. The situation is caused by various factors such as poor nutrition, smoking during pregnancy and being born a premature baby. Some medications, especially antibiotics, have been found to interfere with the absorption of nutrients in the body, influencing how the mouth builds tooth enamel.

How to Prevent White Spots on Teeth

There are ways to help prevent white spots on teeth; practicing good oral hygiene is the surest way to prevent most oral health problems including white stains on teeth though there are other helpful tips in avoiding white spots on teeth. They include;

  • Ensuring your water is fluoride-free (if possible) or consulting with water experts to ensure acceptable fluoride levels in your wells or tap water.
  • Children, particularly those below six years, should be assisted with tooth brushing to ensure they use the right amounts of toothpaste (pea size) and ensure they don’t swallow toothpaste.
  • Reducing sugary and acidic foods and drinks such as citric fruits and juices, candy, soda and other soft drinks. Consuming them with moderation is harmless.
  • Ensuring braces are thoroughly cleaned, especially around the brackets and wires to prevent the development of white marks on teeth.
  • Discuss your medication with your doctor, especially for expectant mothers, since some medicines can later affect your child’s tooth development.
  • Quitting smoking can prevent the development of white stains on teeth for smokers.

Do White Spots on Teeth Go Away?

White spots on teeth need to be treated to go away. There are several treatment options for white stains recommended by your dentist to restore that confident smile.

How to Remove White Stains on Teeth

If you would like to remove white stains on teeth, it’s best to speak to your dentist about treatment options to rid your teeth of those nasty lesions from your teeth. Some effective treatments include;

  • Enamel microabrasion: It is a process that involves removing the white stains from your teeth mechanically using dentists’ tools. It has minimal effects on the enamel since only a thin layer of enamel is removed from the surface of your teeth. The results are as excellent as teeth whitening.
  • Tooth Whitening: It involves using bleach to break the white spots to minor stains that are less conspicuous, thus brightening your teeth. There are various teeth whitening products available over the counter such as whitening toothpaste, mouthwashes and strips. However, for the best results, it is advisable to seek advice from your dentist.
  • Dental Veneers: They are tooth coverings used to cover the white stains, mainly if it is impossible to eliminate the discoloration through other methods. Your dentist will make customized veneers for your teeth shape, color and size. The shells are then bonded on the front of your teeth to give them a natural look.

Talk to Your Dentist About White Stains on Teeth

To discuss any white stains on your teeth, contact Sol Dental, where various dental services are available for you and your family. Our offices offer the most professional dental care services in El Paso. You can also reach us through our contacts to book an appointment.