What Are These White Spots on My Teeth?

What Causes Oral Spotting and How You Can Correct It


Discoloration or spots on your teeth are never a good sign, and it can make patients feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about their smile. Usually, this is a symptom of an oral issue, depending on the type of discoloration.

White spots, for example, could be a sign of fluorosis or just a side effect of exposure to acidic foods. A quick trip to your dentist can help you understand how severe the spotting is, what might have caused it, and how it can be treated.

Potential Causes of White Spots on Teeth

In some cases, white spots on your teeth are not a real sign of concern, but you should not ignore their appearance, either. Here are some common reasons why these spots develop on the enamel:

  • Diet. Your diet can seriously affect the state of your teeth in many different ways. Too many acidic foods or drinks, for example, can cause white spots to appear on your enamel. Foods with excessive sugar or that give you acid reflux can also cause these spots to develop.
  • Fluorosis. Fluoride is a great dental health tool, but too much can lead to something known as fluorosis. Exposure to too much fluoride in your youth, such as in your drinking water, can cause permanent white spots to appear on your teeth later in life.
  • Plaque build-up. Regularly brushing your teeth is about more than just keeping your breath fresh. Over time, not brushing can lead to tartar and plaque build-up, which can ultimately lead to demineralization of your enamel.
  • Braces. Demineralization of the teeth can also be a result of long-term braces wear, which can cause spots to form underneath or around the area where your brackets sit.
  • Enamel Hypoplasia. For some patients, their enamel does not form properly. This can happen for different reasons, be it nutritional deficiencies or conditions like celiac disease.
  • Dehydration of the mouth. Dry mouth can also lead to white spots. Sleeping with your mouth open, for example, can cause temporary spots to appear on your mouth. Typically, however, this can is resolved when saliva hits your mouth.
  • Certain medications. Some medications, like antibiotics, can also cause this type of discoloration to occur in the mouth. Be sure to tell both your doctor and your dentist if this happens to be a side effect of your medication.

Treatment Options for Oral White Spots

Thankfully, there are a variety of treatment options available to care for the white spots appearing on your teeth. Cosmetic dental treatments are often the most popular option, but the ideal solution for you will depend on your unique dental structure. Here are some of the ways your dentist can help correct white spots.

Dental Microabrasion

You might have seen this term associated with facial enhancements, but it can also work on other areas, like your teeth. The procedure works to remove a layer of dental enamel, effectively filing away the white spots and producing a more even result.

Veneers

Porcelain veneers are an excellent option for anyone who wants to correct cosmetic imperfection on their teeth. Depending on how severe the spotting is, your dentist may recommend this option, which involves bonding them to your teeth.

Bleaching

Dental bleaching is a tooth whitening procedure that can be helpful in balancing the color of your enamel. This can help those white spots take on a different shade, making them virtually invisible.

Nasal Decongestants or Chin Strap

While it is not exactly a treatment, it can be a solution for correcting the appearance of white spots due to dehydration. If you sleep with your mouth open due to congestion, or just habit, you can try one of these options to help rectify the problem.

Prevention Is the Best Option

Naturally, the best way to prevent white spots is to practice good dental hygiene. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing twice a day can help to reduce your risk for white spots, tooth decay, periodontitis, and other potentially harmful conditions. Minimizing children’s exposure to fluoride can also help to prevent white spots from developing throughout their lives. At Acosta Dental Arts, PA, we offer comprehensive restorative and family dentistry options to help patients maintain a smile they are proud to show off. Contact us today to schedule your Free Smile Assessment with Dr. Acosta.

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