Why Do I Have White Spots on My Teeth?

Gentle Dental

Healthy teeth are the key to a beautiful smile. In certain instances, however, people can develop discolorations that can make them feel self-conscious. Many times, these discolorations can appear as white blotches on the surface of teeth. Here are the reasons behind these troublesome white spots, along with some ways you can get rid of them. 

What Causes White Spots on Teeth?

There are three main reasons why someone might develop white splotches on their teeth: 

1) Fluorosis

This occurs when someone ingests large amounts of fluoride while their teeth are still developing. Whether it’s from supplements, excessively fluoridated water or fluoride toothpaste, too much fluoride can cause enamel discoloration that may appear chalky white.

2) Enamel Hypoplasia

This issue generally occurs due to high fevers, nutritional deficiencies or medicinal side effects. Prenatal smoking and premature births have also been linked to enamel hypoplasia. Whatever the reason behind it, enamel hypoplasia can cause teeth to develop spots that appear milky white, yellow or brown. 

3) Demineralization

When oral bacteria are allowed to accumulate on teeth, they can release acids that lead to demineralization. Usually caused by poor brushing, this issue is a common problem for kids and adults with braces. Unfortunately, white areas of decalcification are permanent and can increase the risk of decay, according to the American Academy of General Dentistry (AAGD).

How to Get Rid of White Spots on Teeth

There are a few options for eliminating white spots from teeth, including: 

Microabrasion 

This involves gently removing a very thin layer of enamel from the surface of your teeth. The procedure is often combined with professional, in-office tooth-whitening treatments to provide a high-quality aesthetic.

Bleaching

Bleach-based whitening treatments can help balance the color of tooth enamel. For best results, patients should rely on in-office whitening procedures or dentist-approved, take-home kits. Over-the-counter (OTC) bleaching products and toothpaste are also available, but the results will take longer and may be unsatisfactory. 

Porcelain veneers

For white spots that do not respond to conservative treatments, veneers are a good option. They are also well-suited to treat significant patches of discoloration. Custom fabricated with layers of durable ceramic material, dental veneers are bonded to the surface of teeth, creating a natural-looking facade that resists future stains.

When it comes to treating white spots on teeth, the best procedure will depend on your budget and the severity of the condition. Your dentist will be able to make suggestions based on your individual needs, so you can eliminate troublesome white spots and get the smile you’ve always dreamed of.