Having sparkling white teeth is always a great sign, and it usually means your oral care is on point, brushing twice a day, visiting your dentist for regular dental check-ups and cleanings and even have your teeth whitened professionally.
So, it does seem odd to have “white-spots” appear on your already white teeth, right? Let’s take a look at why this could be happening and what you can do about it.
What causes white-spots:
Too much of something is never a good thing.
Eating too many acidic foods can cause white spots on your teeth. This is because highly acidic foods eat away at your tooth enamel. This outer layer protects your teeth from damage.
A high sugar diet can also cause the formation of acidic plaque, which can erode enamel. Acidic foods and drinks include cold drinks, fruit juice and certain fruits, such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruit.
Acid reflux is another trigger because it produces acid in the stomach, throat, and mouth. As your tooth enamel breaks down, you may experience other symptoms like sensitivity to cold or hot foods and drinks, this brings us to the second cause.
- Enamel hypoplasia
This defect refers to having less enamel than normal. Enamel hypoplasia can result from a nutritional deficiency that causes a mineral loss in the tooth. Culprits include conditions like celiac disease, where the body has difficulty absorbing nutrients because of a weakened immune system. Taking antibiotics to treat a fever can also interfere with nutrient absorption. Additionally, smoking while pregnant may cause this condition in children. Other symptoms of enamel hypoplasia include having grooves or lines in the teeth and tooth sensitivity.
Fluoride strengthens teeth and prevents decay, but too much fluoride in developing teeth can have the opposite effect, causing decay and discolouration. This can happen when children consume too many fluoridated beverages or swallow fluoride toothpaste. Fluorosis also causes pitted enamel, which makes it harder to brush and clean teeth.
- Plaque accumulation
White spots on the teeth can also form due to an accumulation of bacterial plaque. This is the result of poor dental hygiene, such as not brushing or flossing on a regular basis. It can also occur as a side effect of wearing braces.
These spots, which may appear on the teeth after removing braces, are caused by a buildup of plaque deposits underneath or around the actual location of brackets. Insufficient oral hygiene or an inability to thoroughly remove plaque between brackets cause this demineralisation of the tooth. The tooth may appear rough and chipped.
- Sleeping with your mouth open
You may notice white spots on your teeth when you wake up in the morning that goes away after a few hours. This is often caused by sleeping with your mouth open all night. These white spots are caused by dehydration of the enamel surface of your teeth. Once saliva hits the teeth, they will rehydrate, and the white spots will disappear.
How to treat white-spots:
This procedure removes a layer of enamel from the tooth’s surface using mild abrasion. This can remove white spots and improve the appearance of teeth.
Bleaching is a tooth-whitening procedure that is performed by your dentist. This process helps balance the colour of your tooth’s enamel. Treatment effectively lightens the entire tooth so that it matches the colour of the white spots.
Bleaching is not an effective treatment for people who develop white spots on their teeth from overusing fluoride. This treatment can further bleach the white spots, resulting in the spots taking on a different shade of white.
Depending on the extent of the white spots, your doctor may suggest concealing them with a porcelain veneer. This involves the creation of custom porcelain that is permanently bonded to the surface of your teeth.
- Nasal decongestants
If a cold or other viral infection is making you congested and causing you to sleep with your mouth open, take nasal decongestants before bed. This will help you sleep with your mouth closed.
For any of your dental concerns, why not schedule an appointment with Corne Smith Dentistry in Claremont, Cape Town. We would love to take of your teeth, from basic check-ups and cleaning to the latest in teeth whitening, veneers, crowns, Invisalign and paediatric dentistry.