Even with a stellar, consistent dental hygiene regimen, you may start to notice small white specks on the surface of your teeth. These imperfections seem to appear suddenly, and it’s not uncommon for patients to begin to worry about why they developed and what they mean. At the least, they can leave you self-conscious and unhappy with the appearance of your smile.
Fortunately, these spots are rarely a cause for concern and are mainly a cosmetic nuisance. Still, knowing why they appeared on your teeth and the cosmetic treatment options available to you and your smile can provide peace of mind and direct you toward a treatment plan that will help restore your uniformly white teeth and your self-confidence.
What Causes White Spots on Your Teeth?
Unsightly, white spots on the teeth signal the deterioration of your tooth’s enamel. Your dentist can point to many causes, but these white spots are most often due to a variety of lifestyle factors, health conditions, dental trauma, or problems with your dental hygiene regimen.
When your teeth lack essential nutrients, primarily calcium and phosphorus, the enamel on your teeth becomes increasingly vulnerable to bacterial erosion. When an excess of bacteria accumulates in your mouth, the acids start to break down the mineral content of your teeth, sometimes leaving these white stains behind.
Fluoride is an incredibly helpful mineral that can strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent decay. However, an excess of fluoride exposure may cause white streaks or spots to develop on your teeth. This condition, called fluorosis, is most commonly developed in children under the age of eight years old.
Orthodontic treatments such as braces may cause white dental lesions to develop if an excess of plaque builds up, which are often only discovered after braces are removed. This is because braces make it more difficult to clear trapped food debris, which can cause white stains due to surface decay.
Those with a diet low in calcium or high in acidic or sugary foods may be more susceptible to the development of white spots on their teeth. Without enough calcium, your teeth may not be adequately strong and sturdy. Likewise, foods high in sugars and acids can weaken your enamel and encourage expedited dental decay, resulting in noticeable white stains on the surface.
Habits and Hygiene
Smoking, poor dental hygiene, and inconsistent dental care impact the quality of your tooth enamel. Nonsmoking adults and children who consistently brush and floss their teeth twice a day and see their dentists for regular checkups are more likely to have strong enamel that is less susceptible to the wear and decay that causes white spots on the teeth.
Illness or Medication
Some medical conditions, illnesses, prescribed antibiotics, and other medications can cause a reduction in tooth enamel, which could make it more likely that white spots might form on the teeth. Conditions such as enamel hypoplasia, in particular, can make it more difficult for the body to build and maintain tooth enamel.
Can White Spots on Teeth Go Away?
Unfortunately, white spots on the surface of your teeth will not go away on their own. These lesions are usually a sign of damaged dental enamel and will require treatment to remove. To discourage these spots from worsening, it’s best to practice preventive care at home by watching your diet and adopting better dental hygiene habits.
In some cases, at-home treatment can reverse or improve the appearance of white spots, but it’s important to talk to your dentist before beginning any treatment options to protect the health and safety of your smile.
How Can You Get Rid of Dental White Spots?
These professional dental treatments are the best way to remove white spots on your teeth:
- Tooth whitening.
- Topical fluoride treatments.
- Enamel abrasion and restoration.
- Dental bonding.
- Porcelain veneers or implants.
Get Rid of White Spots With Cosmetic Dentistry
If you’re concerned about white spots on your teeth, Smart Dental Care can help. Call our practice today to discuss your cosmetic dentistry treatment options to restore your smile.