Uh oh! You have white spots on your teeth. What are you supposed to do? What are these spots? You are a little worried because these marks or stains are not very attractive, and worse, you might be worried about the health implications.
Silver Lake Dental says that it is not surprising that you are concerned. People worry more about their smiles nowadays, and these spots may be standing in the way of your having that ultra-beautiful smile.
What Do these White Spots Mean?
Silver Lake says that white spots are indicative of a loss of mineral content on teeth. Dentists know this condition as hypocalcification, and it results from a loss of hypoplasia. It is more of a cosmetic concern than a health one, but in some cases, it can also be a symptom of teeth deterioration which should be a real health concern.
Some dentists tell patients that a white spot is the first sign of tooth decay. This is when a tooth has an opaque color, and is the place where caries are beginning to form. But not all spots are cavity formations.
However, This Could Also Be the Result of Something Else
The team at Silver Lake Dental suggests that there are many different causes for these white spots. To better determine what yours are, It’s best to have a dentist look at your teeth. Even so, the following might be a few reasons for these spots:
Dry mouth. If your mouth feels dry and you are not producing saliva as you should, bacteria will grow and attack your teeth even more frequently. This can cause these spots you are looking at.
Prescription drugs given to you to control a medical problem can also cause the spots. Be sure to tell your dentist of any medical changes you have. This will help him take corrective action for any medications you take say the experts at Silver Lake Dental.
Smoking can also cause the spots. Tobacco is really hard on oral health and can bring on a range of oral health conditions including spots.
Breathing through your mouth when you sleep, exercise or in your routine daily life can cause dry mouth, and it is the lack of saliva that can cause the white spots.
Avoid or minimize foods that are heavy in acids. White spots occur frequently in people who consume too many acidic foods, especially when they do not follow the ingestion with a water rinse or tooth brushing activity. So if you drink a lot of soda or even sports drinks the high levels of acids can wear down the tooth enamel
Acid reflux disease can also bring out these spots. If you suffer from continual heart burn, your mouth will experience higher levels of acidity than normal. This high acidity can bring on the white spots.
Plaque is another problem that causes these spots. It is a sticky colorless film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and it continually eats sugar and starches you might have left in your mouth. This starts to eat at the enamel and cause the spots.
Autoimmune Diseases like Celiac. This disease affects a very few people but it does cause the spots and also to underdeveloped teeth.
Excessive fluoride (fluorosis). Some people live in areas where the water contains excessive amounts of naturally occurring fluoride. In these cases, children can grow up with stains on their teeth.
Whitening strips. Some people have experienced spots due to certain tpes of whitening strips. When these strips are not consistently used and left on the shelf, they become acidic. If you use these old whitening strips you can get spots on the enamel.
Genetics. In some cases, you are just prone to these white spots, and you need to get specialized treatment from your dentist.
Orthodontic braces.The braces in themselves don’t cause the spots, but a lack of good oral hygiene by the person wearing the braces can cause the white spots. Plaque forms into a hard film and starts in hard to reach places, especially in people who wear braces and this makes it hard to brush well. When the braces are removed, these places could have white spots as well as tooth decay.
My baby has white spots. What is this?
Toddlers can sometimes have white spots on teeth, and it can be a normal occurence. Dentists like those at Silver Lake Dental say these spots are known as baby tooth discoloration. It can be caused by certain baby medical conditions, medicine or the natural exposure to certain minerals like fluoride.
Can I use an over the counter product to remove the spots?
Many people try to remove the spots with an over the counter whitener, but this does not work. The whitening product whitens your teeth but it makes the spots even more noticeable. Instead, you want to visit your dentist when you can and watch what you eat and pay attention to your oral hygiene.
How Does The dentist Remove Them?
Silver Lake Dental says that the treatment will vary depending on the type and size of the spots. If your situation is one that’s easily corrected, your dentist may opt to use a simple micro-abrasion to remove them.
On the other hand, if your white spots are large or if you have many white spots, micro-abrasion may not be the best option. In this case, he may opt for cosmetic reconstructive dentistry treatment like veneers.
If you have a mineral deficiency or breakdown of your tooth’s enamel, and this is causing the spots, your dentist may recommend special medical rinses.
Things You Can Do To Prevent The White Spots
While there is nothing specific you can do to remove existing white spots, say the experts at Silver Lake Dental, there are things you can do to prevent them from occurring. You can:
- Brush and floss at least twice a day, especially after you eat or drink sugary foods and beverages.
- See your dentist every six months for a check-up and cleaning.
- Get sufficient calcium in your diet or take special supplementation.
- Use a fluoride rinse;
- Avoid any sugary and acidic foods and beverages;
- practice good oral hygiene, especially if you’re wearing braces.
What if I don’t do anything?
If your white spots are not serious, your dentist will just watch them as needed. If they worsen he will suggest a certain type of treatment say the experts at Silver Lake Dental. However, if they are threatening the tooth enamel he may suggest a veneer or crown.
White spots may be of little to no consequence or they might be a significant problem. The only person hat can really tell for sure is your dentist. Call your dentist and get an appointment to see what is causing the problem.