Good that you have finally noticed the unsightly white spots on your teeth. All of us crave for tooth whitening, yet too white a spot on a tooth can be disturbing. Usually white spots on teeth are cosmetic issue but sometimes, they can lead to tooth decay too and thus it becomes essential to remove white spots on teeth. These unnaturally bright spots on teeth may or may not indicate decay of your teeth depending upon the underlying cause. Therefore, before you get to know how to get rid of white spots on teeth, you must know what causes them.
What are White Spots on Teeth?
White spots on teeth are indication of loss of mineral content from the surface of your teeth that you know as enamel. This is technically known as hypocalcification. Your dentist will call these white spots by the name of hypoplasia. In fact, white spot on teeth can be the first sign of tooth decay. So, when the enamel of your tooth shows opaque color in a spot, it may be a sign that the cavity is starting to form at that place. At this point, you should consult your dentist to know the cause of white spots on your teeth.
What Causes White Spots on Teeth?
Here are some of the major causes of white spots on teeth.
Dry mouth- When your mouth is dry, it doesn’t have enough saliva to keep the pH level of your mouth neutral. When pH level is not right, bacteria grow and survive to attack your teeth with their acid.
Having acidic foods- Foods having high acidic content like sour candies and those made with lemon and vinegar can cause white spots on teeth. So is the case with acidic drinks like carbonated soda and lemonade etc. The high acidic content in these foods and drinks removes the teeth’s enamel and other natural minerals leading to white spots on teeth.
Poor Oral Hygiene- If you don’t take enough care to clean your mouth, plaque will build up there on your teeth. Plaque can be understood as the sticky, colorless film of bacteria and debris that forms on your teeth just after you finis eating carbohydrates that mean all the sugars and starches you have. These bacteria then feed on these sugars and produce acid that damage your teeth’s enamel causing white spot and then tooth decay.
Fluorosis or excessive fluoride- While fluoride is one of the essential minerals to keep teeth healthy, excessive fluoride leads to white spots and cavities on teeth. When you consume excessive fluoride you are making your teeth prone to develop white spots. Sometimes the drinking water supplied to your area contains a high fluoride levels. Fluorosis is a major cause of white spots on teeth, especially in children whose teeth’s development is under process.
Teeth whitening strips- Teeth whitening strips are strips made up of such material as plastic. It has a gel like substance that gets glued to your teeth. If you have been using these strips for teeth whitening, they may be the cause behind your teeth’s white spots, especially if you leave them on for longer periods. These strips are highly acidic and thus capable of de-mineralize your tooth’s enamel to give you white spots on them.
Braces for teeth- Well, braces don’t actually cause white spots on teeth. However if you do not practice good dental hygiene while wearing your braces, you will certainly get white spots on teeth. This is because plaque builds up on those hard to reach places behind braces where you are not able to brush your teeth well.
Celiac disease- This is an autoimmune disease that shortens the lifespan of those affected. It also increases the risk of developing other autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Celiac disease is also highly associated with teeth enamel defects. Not only white spots on teeth, this disease can lead to undersized teeth, yellow teeth or teeth with grooves or pitting.
Other than the above causes genetic reasons may also be behind your white spots on teeth.
If you go to your dentist, he will first diagnose the condition of the white spots on your teeth and the possible causes behind them. Accordingly, he may use different techniques to remove white spots on teeth such as micro-abrasion, bleaching, or even capping the teeth with a white filling or applying a porcelain veneer. One of the ways dentists use to remove white spots on teeth is that of remineralization. It is a way to naturally fill in the microscopic holes that give white spots their bright appearance. Home remedies to remove white spots on teeth essentially focus on remineralizing teeth. Dentists also believe that white spots fade away when brushing and flossing improve.