Why are There White Spots on my Teeth?

November 9, 2015 in Dental Hygiene,Dentistry,General dentistry by mccarl_dental

There are many possible causes for white spots on teeth, but the most common is a condition known as hypomineralization, hypocalcification, or hypoplasia. Whatever word you hear a dentist use to describe the condition, it refers to the loss of minerals from tooth enamel, and it is quite common. If you have a few of these white spots or they are in highly visible locations on front teeth, contact McCarl Dental Group. Our skilled dental team provides a variety of treatment options to perfect your smile. Watch our informative video, and continue reading to find out more.

Possible Causes and Risk Factors for White Spots

White spots on teeth have many causes, and the key to helping patients determine the right corrective procedure is determining why the white spots formed and how deep the discoloration goes. Some of the most common causes of white spots include:

  • High sugar diets – sugar and bacteria combine to produce highly acidic plaque that dissolves enamel
  • Orthodontics – many young people with traditional bracket braces find they have white spots surrounding the space where their brackets were because plaque builds up around them
  • Acidic foods and drinks – much like sugars, acidic foods and drinks eat away at enamel
  • Dry mouth – the decreased amount of saliva makes it more difficult to neutralize acidic plaque in the mouth allowing it to affect the enamel
  • Acid reflux – like the acid from the breakdown of foods, acid reflux also increases the level of acidity in the mouth leading to enamel erosion
  • Fevers – high fevers and the antibiotics taken to combat them can cause white spots before teeth even erupt because when children are sick their bodies don’t properly absorb the necessary nutrients for developing healthy dental structure
  • Celiac disease – is an autoimmune disease, and 89% of patients with celiac have enamel discoloration due to the disruption in nutrient absorption caused by the weakened immune system
  • Genetic predisposition – some people naturally develop teeth with spots of brighter or darker coloring

Treatments to Remove White Spots

Depending on the cause, size, location, and depth of the discoloration, a dentist will recommend a treatment plan to remove or cover the affected area leaving patients with picture-perfect smiles. Some of the most common treatment options are:

  • Polishing – using a mild abrasive to buff off surface-level spots
  • Bleaching – whitening treatments can lighten the entire tooth to match the brighter spots
  • Bonding – for deeper spots, we’ll remove the affected area, and repair with dental bonding
  • Veneers – patients with multiple affected teeth or extensive, deep white spots may consider concealing the white spots with porcelain veneers

In every case, the McCarl Dental Group team will recommend starting with the most conservative treatment, and advancing only as necessary in order to preserve natural dental structure.

Find Out More

There’s no way to know for sure what treatment is right for you without consulting your dentist. In Millersville, the team at McCarl Dental Group will help you develop a customized treatment plan to correct or conceal your white spots and other dental discoloration. Ask about treatment during your next dental checkup.