There are some myths that these spots are signs of drinking a lot of milk, and that they are common in anybody. Contrary to popular beliefs, white spots on teeth indicate that many problems are affecting your mouth.
White marks on teeth could be related to fluorosis, enamel hypoplasia, or demineralization, for example. Knowing what causes these stains to appear on our teeth might help you prevent them from causing further harm to your pearly whites.
What Causes White Spots on My Teeth?
There are several issues and factors we could list as responsible for the presence of white stains on teeth, the main ones are:
Fluorosis is one of the most common causes of white spots on teeth. This condition occurs when excessive amounts of fluoride become ingested while teeth are still forming, and leads to severe damages to the enamel.
While fluoride is considered good for our teeth, consuming large amounts might put your oral health at risk, causing tooth discoloration. The stains can be yellow, off-white or in severe cases, brown.
To avoid fluorosis, limit your intake of fluoridated water, don’t eat or swallow toothpaste, and avoid supplements with fluoride.
Demineralization is superficial damage that dissolves the surface enamel of the tooth. It takes place when plaque sits for extended periods of time on your teeth.
Plaque forms when the enamel becomes regularly exposed to acids. Also, white stains on teeth appear after acid exposure found in foods and beverages.
Since their surface is already rough, it can accumulate stains, causing white spots to darken as time passes. This erosion of the enamel is often the first stage of tooth decay.
Calcification is the process in which calcium deposits form on bones and teeth. These deposits can form on different tissues in the body, like gum tissues, for example.
When the tooth is growing, an excessive amount of calcium escapes and could result in white stains on the enamel. Calcium deposits on teeth can build up quicker when we grow older if we don’t practice proper dental hygiene habits, causing discoloration of our teeth.
White spots on the tooth may also appear due to mineral loss. These white stains get referred to as enamel hypoplasia.
This condition can result from a variety of events, like nutritional deficiencies, high fever, side effects of medicine, premature births, and prenatal smoking. What happens when the teeth suffer from hypoplasia is that the enamel is hard but thin, and also deficient in amount.
Since these teeth are less mineralized than others, they are prone to decay. Also, teeth with this condition have pits in them – the enamel crown has holes on it, but in extreme cases, the tooth has no enamel – and exposes the dentin.
Many other factors also contribute to creating white stains on teeth, such as:
Dry Mouth: A dry mouth holds bacteria, and the acid from said bacteria will harm your teeth, eventually causing white stains.
Acidic Foods: Sour foods like candy, lemons, and vinegar can be a reason for getting white stains on our teeth. These foods are high in acidic levels, and they work to remove enamel on your teeth, resulting in white spots.
Poor Oral Hygiene: Proper oral hygiene is important! We’re never going to get tired of saying it. With good cleaning habits, like brushing and flossing, you prevent plaque from building up. Plaque mainly consists of sugar and starch, and bacteria in the mouth feed off from it, producing acid that attacks the teeth, and this acid ends up leaving white stains on the enamel.
Teeth Whitening Strips: Teeth whitening strips are very popular for their whitening properties, but they contain high acidic levels, which end up removing the enamel from your teeth. With this removal, there’s a bigger chance of getting white stains on your pearly whites.
Braces: In this case, braces are not exactly the problem. Poor oral hygiene is what causes white stains on teeth. When someone has braces, it’s not that easy to clean through every single space of your teeth.
Celiac Disease: Celiac Disease shortens lifespans, causes eczema, multiple sclerosis, and osteoporosis, as well. This condition can also affect the enamel of your teeth, causing white spots to appear.
How Do I Get Rid of White Spots on Teeth?
Everybody’s goal is to have a beautiful smile, and stains might be an impediment to achieving it. You might wonder how to get rid of white spots on your teeth, and thankfully certain procedures can be done to remove them.
These treatments depend on the severity and condition of the white marks on your teeth, such as:
This type of procedure involves removing a thin layer of surface enamel to improve the appearance of the teeth. The right application of microabrasion techniques allows a considerable improvement in appearance and color of the teeth.
While this practice involves removing enamel, the Journal of Applied Oral Science concluded that microabrasion is a safe technique and it provides positive results in a patient’s smile. It might often get combined with tooth-whitening treatments for aesthetic purposes.
Teeth bleaching will help you remove white stains from teeth and balances the color of your tooth enamel. A plus side is that tooth whitening is a very cost-effective dental treatment to improve your smile.
For better results in removing white stains, it is highly recommended to visit your dentist for either an in-office dental bleaching treatment or a take-home bleaching kit. Just note that dental bleaching is not a permanent solution, it requires further maintenance over the years.
For stains on the teeth that cannot be treated by bleaching or microabrasion, porcelain veneers are a great option. Veneers are thin, and custom-made laminates fabricated from ceramic materials.
They get bonded to the front of the teeth, improving their appearance by changing color, shape, size or length. Tooth enamel might need to be removed from the tooth to fit a veneer, which looks like a natural tooth and resists future stains.
Over-the-counter moisturizers for the mouth will also work but make sure to consult your dentist before making it a part of your plan to combat dry mouth. Your dentist might be able to apply a varnish or gel to defend your teeth against cavities.
How to Prevent White Spots on Teeth
There are certain steps you can follow to avoid white stains from appearing on your teeth, such as:
Good dental hygiene. Avoid white spots on your teeth by sticking to a dental hygiene routine. The least you can do is brush and floss at least twice a day, and check the fluoride levels in your toothpaste (high levels of fluoride can cause damage to your teeth). Also, visit your dentist twice a year. Regular checkups are encouraged every six months.
Avoid acidic foods and beverages. Some foods and drinks can cause severe damage to your tooth enamel. Also, some other foods may increase acidic levels and dry mouth, leading to more bacteria growing within your teeth. Sugary and carbonated drinks are the ones that cause more harm.
Consume foods rich in minerals. Mineral unbalances in your body may cause white stains on your teeth. By eating foods with high mineral levels, you remineralize your teeth. Try to increase your Vitamin D intake, as well as calcium and magnesium. These nutrients help the body absorb and retain nutrients. Obtain calcium from foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Magnesium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, nuts, fish and seeds.
Drink water. One of the best ways to prevent white stains on your teeth is by drinking water. Staying hydrated is the best for our body, so it’s no wonder it helps your dental wellbeing. If our mouths aren’t properly hydrated, saliva production slows down, and there’s not enough to balance our pH levels, allowing bacteria to grow and attack the teeth with acid. Make sure to stay hydrated by only drinking water, not juices or soda.
Say goodbye to unhealthy habits. If you want to keep your teeth as white as you can, you should avoid smoking and caffeine. Both of these are highly damaging substances in different ways. Caffeine has higher levels of acid, which damages the enamel. Smoking and chewing tobacco increase plaque buildup on your teeth. Both of them invite bacteria to enter the pores of the teeth, causing more decay and damage which ends up in white stains.
Don’t let white stains on your teeth ruin your perfect smile! Call your dentist now!
Those who have full or partial dentures must wash them every day. You should also remove your dentures from your mouth four hours each day, and it’s beneficial to do so at night.
If you’re a caretaker of an elderly individual who wears dentures and you notice they’ve been eating less or not as often, they might be having problems with their dentures. It’s key to look out for telltale signs of denture problems, which you’ll find by monitoring eating habits carefully.
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