What are those white spots on your teeth? They could be harmless or a sign that you need to see a dentist to have them checked. Find out more about what causes these white spots to appear and what you can do about them.
Causes of White Spots
You can develop white spots on your teeth from fluorosis. If your teeth were exposed to higher levels of fluoride when you were young, mineralization can cause white spots to form. This is more likely to happen if you drank water with high amounts of fluoride or if you drank mainly well water when you were little. Keep in mind that this occurs prior to your permanent teeth coming in, and it actually indicates which areas of your teeth are the strongest. If you have white spots that are relatively even in terms of height, you most likely have them from fluorosis.
You can also have white spots if your teeth have become weakened from poor dental hygiene or consuming large amount of sugary drinks. These spots show where your tooth enamel has eroded, which can mean that you’re at risk of developing cavities. Your tooth enamel protects your teeth from bacteria that can lead to decay, so when it erodes, you have a higher chance of getting cavities. You might also have white spots if you used to wear braces and had them removed. These spots appear in areas where you weren’t able to thoroughly clean your teeth.
Teeth Whitening and White Spots
Teeth whitening products, such as professional whitening kits, whitening strips and whitening toothpaste, aren’t likely to lead to white spots. The bleaching agents in these products enter your tooth and spread out, which helps keep the whitening results even. In fact, dentists might recommend undergoing teeth whitening in order to eliminate white spots on your teeth and restore a more even color.
When to See a Dentist
You should schedule a dental appointment if you notice white spots and have other symptoms, such as tooth pain or sensitivity. These symptoms can indicate that you have a cavity forming. If your teeth end up having a pitted appearance, this can mean that tooth decay is getting worse. Seeing a dentist before this occurs helps you avoid needing to get fillings for serious decay.
How to Eliminate White Spots
White spots on your teeth can be reversed in some cases. You can do this by practicing good oral hygiene, such as brushing regularly, and using products that contain fluoride to strengthen your tooth enamel. You should also avoid consuming foods and beverages with sugar, so that your teeth won’t be exposed to high levels of bacteria. Following these steps should get rid of white spots in roughly a month, although it could take a little longer.
If you have severe white spots that aren’t fading, you can discuss other options with your dentist, such as teeth whitening or veneers. This type of dental care can provide your teeth with a more evenly colored appearance, which can make your smile look healthier.
If you need treatment for white spots on your teeth, please contact Central Avenue Dental to schedule an appointment.