Maintaining gleaming white teeth no longer just indicates good dental hygiene, it’s become a fashion statement. Whether you achieve your pearly whites through bleaching sessions with your dental hygienist or by using overnight bleaching trays, home whitening products, or toothpaste with whiteners, brightening your smile has become as desired as flawless skin and shiny hair.
Sure, white teeth contribute to a beautiful, healthy smile. But white spots on your teeth may indicate something entirely different. Where do white spots come from, and can they be removed? Before asking your dental professional to fix this problem, you will want to determine how the spots got there in the first place. Determining that will help your dentist determine the right course of action as to the cause, and how deeply the discoloration may go.
Possible Causes and Risk Factors for White Spots
There are many possible causes for white spots on your teeth, but the most common is a condition known as hypomineralization. With regard to teeth, hypomineralization refers to the effect of too much exposure to fluoride. Depending on the time of exposure to fluoride, the result may be mottling of the tooth, which shows up initially as white spots which can progress into permanently stained, brown mottled teeth because the enamel has become subject to decay. As the tooth becomes more porous, its porosity is increased relative to the degree of fluorosis.
Additional causes of white spots include:
- Acidic and high-sugar diets – sugar and bacteria combine to produce highly acidic plaque that dissolves enamel. The same is true of acidic foods and drinks.
- Orthodontia – upon removal of their traditional “train track” braces, some patients may be surprised to find they have white spots due to plaque build-up and poor brushing habits in areas that were not covered by brackets.
- Dry mouth – the decreased amount of saliva makes it more difficult to neutralize acidic plaque in the mouth, affecting the enamel.
- Acid reflux – like the acid from the breakdown of foods, acid reflux also increases the level of acidity in the mouth leading to enamel erosion.
- High fevers in children – high fevers and the antibiotics used to overcome them can cause white spots even before the teeth emerge. That’s because children who are ill sometimes can’t properly absorb the necessary nutrients for developing healthy dental structure.
- Celiac disease – an estimated 90 percent of patients with celiac have enamel discoloration due to a weakened immune system that prevents the absorption of nutrients.
- Genetic predisposition – sometimes, discoloration can be a factor of genetic bad luck.
Can White Spots Be Removed?
The first step to attaining your best smile is to consult with your dental professional. Depending on the cause, size, location, and depth of the discoloration, the friendly staff at Dedicated Dental will recommend a treatment plan to remove or cover the affected area, leaving you or your loved one with a picture-perfect smile. If you have any questions about our family and cosmetic dentistry services and would like to schedule an appointment or consultation, please call (702) 551-5199. You can also request an appointment online.