Today’s blog is going to go over some terms you might know but aren’t familiar with. We want to talk about how fluorosis or demineralization affects your smile and how to treat it. The good news is, our doctors are trained to help you take care of your white spots and can advise on how to minimize their effect through professionally whitening.
All of our doctors can professionally whiten teeth evenly or perform microdermabrasion on the affected tooth surface. White spots on your tooth enamel (also called white spot lesions) point to the early stage of tooth decay. While tooth decay is not the only cause of white spots, for example, white spots show up from fluorosis as your teeth are overexposed to fluoride, or you could have them from thinning tooth enamel, also called hypoplasia. Even having a calcium deficiency or demineralization on a tooth’s enamel can lead to white spots, as can poor oral hygiene habits. But your unsightly white spots are treatable and can even be reversed when caught early enough!
Three Top Leading Causes of White Spots
1- Fluorosis: if you somehow consume too much fluoride, it can leave spots that range from chalky white to yellow or even brown. While it’s great to use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your teeth, please do not swallow any of it! You also need to be mindful when taking fluoride supplements or when drinking highly fluoridated water.
2- Demineralization: happens when harmful bacterial plaque isn’t cleared away every day which then decalcifies precious tooth enamel. This is why you need to brush and floss every single day because plaque can build up fairly quickly, harming teeth and gums. We often see this condition in patients wearing braces.
3- Enamel Hypoplasia: this condition arises when your enamel is too thin and common causes include genetic predisposition having a vitamin deficiency, injury to your tooth, or premature birth.
Just remember, catching white spots early in their development means our dentists can reverse the condition!
Reversing White Spot Lesions
-Prescription topical fluoride such as a high fluoride dentifrice.
-Microabrasion can remove a thin layer of the enamel sometimes used in conjunction with teeth whitening treatments.
-A bleach-based tooth whitening treatment can even out the tooth’s coloration. Options include an in-office whitening treatment or use an in-home treatment.
-Get porcelain dental veneers which are wafer-thin shells bonded onto the front of your teeth to make your teeth look natural again.
So how can you keep white spot lesions away from your smile? Talk to our dentist about the fluoride levels in your community’s water and be mindful of eating too many foods with fluoride, like raisins and raisin bran, blue crab, shrimp, fries, potato chips, gravy, popsicles, oatmeal and broth. Also drinking canned juice, black tea and wine (which incidentally tend to stain teeth as well).
Don’t skip your daily brushing and flossing routine, especially while wearing braces. Fortify your teeth by consuming a calcium-rich diet to avoid deficiencies. Our team is happy to treat unsightly white spots and help reverse it to give you a beautiful smile you can be confident to show off!