When our patients come to us for a brighter, whiter smile, we typically recommend a simple teeth whitening treatment. But what if the discolorations on your teeth aren’t dark stains from coffee or tea, but white spots that don’t blend in with the rest of your teeth? If that’s the case, we may have to take a different approach to eliminate the blemishes and give you that sparkling smile you want.
What Causes White Spots on Teeth?
There are many possible causes for white spots on teeth. Three of the most common are:
- Fluorosis – Caused by consuming too much fluoride while teeth are forming, fluorosis is a cosmetic condition that causes white or brown blemishes on the surface of teeth. “Most cases of fluorosis result from young children taking fluoride supplements or swallowing fluoride toothpaste when the water they drink is already fluoridated,” Colgate advises.
- Enamel Hypoplasia – This condition, which is caused by factors such as poor nutrition during pregnancy and infancy, genetic disorders, and illness, results in underdeveloped tooth enamel. Those with enamel hypoplasia might have pits or holes in their teeth and may also experience enamel hypomineralization, a decrease in the mineral content of the enamel that leaves teeth soft and vulnerable to damage and decay. In this case, “the enamel looks a lot like fluorosis, with spots varying from milky white to brownish or yellow,” according to Colgate.
- Demineralization – Consuming sugary foods and beverages often and allowing bacteria to build up on your teeth can cause your tooth enamel to lose minerals. White spots can then appear on teeth in areas where minerals have been lost. The spots are an early sign of tooth decay. Children and adults with braces often experience demineralization of their tooth enamel because of inadequate tooth brushing.
How Do You Treat White Spots on Teeth?
After we’ve examined your teeth and determined the cause of the white spots, we’ll discuss which treatment options are best for you. Some of the treatments we recommend are:
- Microabrasion, a procedure that removes a thin layer of surface enamel from teeth
- Bleaching to break up the stains and brighten your entire smile
- Porcelain veneers that are custom made and bonded to the front of your teeth, covering white spots
Don’t let white spots on your teeth keep you from showing off your beautiful smile! Call Cornerstone Dental at 304.267.6059 to schedule an appointment and learn more about our treatment options.