Many of us worry about the yellowing of our teeth. But what if you see white spots on your teeth? That’s another story. After all, we all want sparkling white teeth, but not teeth with different shades of white. Read on to learn why you might be seeing white spots on your teeth, and what you can do about them.
Three Common Causes
If you’ve noticed white spots on your teeth, there are a variety of factors that could be causing the discoloration. Here are three of the most common:
- Dental Fluorosis
- Enamel Hypoplasia
This rare cosmetic condition is caused by the excessive consumption of fluoride while the teeth are still developing beneath the gums. Fluoride has fantastic cavity-fighting powers, but if too much is ingested it can cause discoloration to the enamel, like white spots and streaks. This is particularly common for children who swallow their toothpaste and mouthwash instead of spitting it out. Be sure to supervise your child so they learn proper dental hygiene techniques. (Keep in mind that fluorosis cannot occur after the teeth have erupted, and it is a purely cosmetic condition that does not negatively affect the health of teeth.)
Enamel hypoplasia is when a person’s enamel doesn’t form properly and thus is abnormally thin and weak. Visibly, deficient enamel can manifest as white spots. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as an inherited genetic defect, poor nutrition, infections, prenatal smoking, or trauma to newly developing teeth and/or the mouth. Because the enamel hasn’t grown properly, it not only has aesthetic side effects, but it increases the teeth’s susceptibility to damage and decay.
Demineralization is the condition most likely to affect adult teeth. The mineral crystals in your enamel can be slowly dissolved by a diet high in sugar and low in tooth-strengthening foods, a frequent consumption of acidic foods and beverages like soda and citrus, poor dental hygiene practices, and the buildup of plaque. Enamel weakened by these factors becomes soft, vulnerable to decay, and discolored, often in the form of white spots.
Treatment for White Spots at Our Dental Office
Once white spots appear on the surface of your teeth, you won’t be able to eliminate them on your own. Here at Las Cruces Dental Solutions, we offer services that can target this specific problem, such as our KöR® Deep-Bleaching System and porcelain veneers. Bleaching can even out the coloring of your teeth to deliver a smile that is whiter and brighter, while veneers are thin shells of porcelain that cover your natural teeth to give you a brand new tooth surface. If you’re interested in either of these cosmetic dentistry options, contact us. We’ll book a consultation to begin discussing how to perfect your smile!