What Are The White Spots On My Teeth? A Kelowna Dentist Explains
May 27, 2015

While you may not be thrilled with the white stains that have appeared on your teeth, you certainly aren’t alone. The white spots are usually a result of hypocalcification, but don’t worry - our Kelowna dentists are here to explain why these white spots appear and how you can prevent them from recurring.

Why are there white spots on my teeth?

White spots on teeth are called enamel hypoplasia and are a result of a tooth enamel defect called hypocalcification. That’s a fancy way of saying that newly produced enamel is lacking in mineral content and the enamel spots are softer than normal. These white spots are typically nothing more than a cosmetic concern, but they can be a sign of a deeper problem, indicating weak enamel and tooth decay.


(Photo: Wikipedia Commons) Dental Flourosis is the most common cause of white spots on teeth.

What causes the white spots on my teeth?

There are several things that can cause enamel hypoplasia, so it’s best to visit our Kelowna dental clinic to be certain of the underlying issues causing a weakness in your tooth enamel. That said, some of the common causes of white spots on teeth include:

Fluorosis

Adult teeth are fully formed by age 8 and lie beneath the surface of the gums and below the remaining “baby teeth”. Fluorosis occurs when children intake or swallow too much fluoride before their adult teeth are fully developed. Fluoride is an important part of building strong tooth enamel and protecting teeth from decay, but you can certainly have too much of a good thing.

To prevent children from developing white stains on their teeth, monitor them while they brush their teeth to ensure they don’t accidentally swallow their toothpaste or mouthwash. Fluorosis only occurs while the teeth are developing, so it isn’t a risk for fully formed adult teeth.

Trauma

If you have ever fallen and hit your teeth, took a hockey puck to the mouth, or experienced some other form of dental trauma, the enamel on your teeth may have become damaged. These damage spots can sometimes appear in the form of white spots on the teeth where the enamel has deteriorated.

Decalcified Enamel

If the white spots on your teeth seem to have appeared recently, it is possible that a weakness of the tooth enamel is to blame.This weakness in the tooth’s protective surface can appear as white spots on the tooth and can be a sign of decay and cavity risk. There are several things that can lead to decalcification and weakness of your tooth enamel.

  • A lack of calcium in the diet, which is needed to repair and strengthen your tooth’s protective barrier.

  • Poor oral hygiene can also lead to a thinning of the tooth enamel.

  • Dry mouth happens when you don’t have enough saliva. This saliva also helps to keep your mouth’s pH level at a neutral level so that high acid levels don’t attack your teeth.

  • High acidity in the mouth can also be the result of acid reflux disease or acidic food and drinks like orange juice, sports drinks, and vinegar. These acids can erode the tooth enamel, resulting in white spots on the teeth.

Can the white spots on my teeth be removed?

You can prevent these weaknesses by strengthening the tooth enamel through proper oral hygiene.

If the white spots are already on your teeth, our Kelowna dentists may be able to help.

Depending on the cause and severity of the white spots on your teeth, a simple whitening treatment may be an option - but don’t try this at home! In some cases, the bleach in teeth whiteners can brighten the white spots as well as the rest of your tooth, making the spots more noticeable.

Another treatment option involves the application of amorphous calcium phosphate to the tooth enamel. In basic terms, this treatment helps to remineralize the tooth enamel, eliminating unsightly white spots.

In some cases, our Kelowna dental team may also apply a composite material to cover the white spot. This is similar to a traditional filling and it covers the white spots well.

In severe cases, you may want to consider getting veneers. A veneer is basically a cap that is placed over the existing tooth, hiding any embarrassing white spots and helping to create a more confident smile.

 

If you have questions about the white spots on your teeth, give our Kelowna dental clinic a call at 250-765-4454.



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