You may value a pearly white smile, but if you form chalky or creamy white spots on the surface of your teeth, you might feel self-conscious about this discoloration in your smile. But these spots could pose more than a cosmetic issue for your teeth.
White stains on your smile might signify damage to your dental structure that will leave your teeth vulnerable to dental dangers. Read on to learn more about this type of discoloration on the teeth and what it means for your overall oral health.
What Causes White Tooth Discoloration?
White spots are a symptom of a dental condition called hypocalcification. This refers to a depletion of calcium from the enamel, the outer layer of the tooth.
It may happen for genetics or other factors outside of a patient’s control. But it can also occur due to poor oral habits. Calcium is a primary part of the enamel, so this issue points to a major weakening of the dental structure.
The white spots form and indicate thinned parts in the enamel. They also designate vulnerable areas where plaque and bacteria can infiltrate. This could leave you with a heightened risk of decay and oral infections.
Enamel cannot regrow on its own once deteriorated. Because these white spots are not typical surface stains, you will need treatment from a dentist to address this concern.
How Can My Dentist Treat White Spots on Teeth?
Your dentist can use restorative dental treatments to replace weakened enamel. They can also give you a fluoride treatment to strengthen the remaining tooth enamel. This involves applying a gel, paste, or rinse containing fluoride to the teeth.
Fluoride will absorb into the teeth and fortify the enamel so that it stays strong enough to resist staining and harmful residues. You can protect your teeth against cavities this way. But it will not help with existing white spots on the teeth.
Your dentist can use cosmetic dental bonding to cover this tooth discoloration. With this procedure, the dentist applies resin to the teeth to even out and brighten the tooth color. Your dentist may also suggest porcelain veneers: shells that attach to the teeth to give you a whiter smile per your aesthetic goals.
Can I Prevent Calcium Loss in Teeth?
Some patients might have medical conditions or genetic contributors that make them susceptible to calcium loss in the teeth. These individuals will want to work with their dentist on a treatment plan to protect their smiles.
Overall, you can preserve your tooth enamel by practicing good oral hygiene to get rid of plaque that will eat away at your smile. This means you should floss daily and brush your teeth twice per day.
Acidic and sugary foods and drinks will also erode your teeth. You should limit these foods in your diet to preserve your oral health. Talk to your dentist to learn more precautions you can take to avoid dental damage.