Have you noticed chalky spots on your teeth? If so, you may want to schedule your next dentist appointment. While these markings can appear for any number of reasons, they may be the first sign that you have tooth decay.
Why do white spots appear on your teeth, and how can you get rid of them? In this blog, we tackle everything you need to know about what these spots can mean, and why it is so important to take care of them.
Why Do I Have White Spots On My Teeth?
White spots on teeth may appear for a variety of reasons. While it may indicate the presence of tooth decay, it may also be harmless. Regardless, options are available for removing these white spots, although their presence should still be checked out. Only a dentist can determine the causes of your tooth discoloration and recommend treatment options.
Below are three things white spots on your teeth may be telling you about your dental health.
When bacteria are allowed to build up on your teeth for an extended period of time, the enamel on your tooth may be weakened. This process, known both as decalcification and demineralization, is generally a sign of poor dental hygiene. Decalcification can appear as white or brown spots on your teeth. They can also indicate the presence of tooth decay, as this type of discoloration can lead to cavities.
Decalcification does not always indicate the presence of a cavity, but if no cavities are found on an X-ray it should be watched over time to ensure that it doesn’t become one. If a cavity is present, dentists can fill in the discolored spot with a tooth-colored composite replacement.
White spots may emerge during childhood, and will remain present on your teeth for the rest of your life. This condition is referred to as enamel hypoplasia, and like decalcification, also takes the appearance of white or brown spots on teeth. It is generally caused by a lack of proper nutrients in your diet, but may also be caused by high fevers or being born premature.
White spots on teeth aren’t always a bad sign – they may be a sign of dental fluorosis, a common occurrence in children. This is a harmless condition that occurs when children consume too much fluoride as a child, often from multiple sources such as fluoridated water and vitamin supplements, and tends to emerge before adult teeth breach from your gums.
While dental fluorosis may be harmless, it can still be aesthetically unpleasant. Thankfully, methods exist for removing these spots on teeth.
How to Get Rid of White Spots on Teeth
White spots on teeth may be unsightly, but thankfully several methods exist for removing or hiding white spots on your teeth. Your dentist will suggest treatments based on the size, number, and cause of these white spots.
Microabrasion is the removal of a small amount of enamel from your teeth to reduce the presence of white spots. It must be performed by a dentist, as too much enamel removal can have negative consequences for your overall dental health.
Whitening or bleaching teeth are options to reduce the sight of white spots on teeth. Whitening strips are available over the counter, but professional teeth whitening can also be used to reduce white spots on teeth more effectively with stronger bleaching solutions.
Depending on the number of white spots on a tooth, microabrasion may not be an option. Dental veneers are thin coatings that attach to the front of your teeth, and conceal the surface of your teeth. This can be an expensive option for those who request it.
If white spots on teeth are a sign of cavities, a composite resin can be applied to your teeth to fill them in.
If You Notice White Spots, See a Dentist
White spots on teeth should always be examined by a dental professional to ensure that they are not the sign of something more serious. If you spot new white discoloration on your teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist as early as possible.
At Treasured Smiles Adult and Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide top-notch service for Frankfort and beyond. Contact us today for more information about our services.