We all want whiter teeth – but we don’t want white spots! Have you noticed those oddly bright, bleached white spots on your teeth? You may not like what they are doing to your smile – but are they a sign you should see your dentist?
What Causes These Spots?
The short answer is “yes” – if you have been noticing white spots on your teeth, they are a sign of trouble, and you should see your dentist about them. They are technically known as “white spot lesions,” and if you see them that means that you are losing enamel, the outer layer of the teeth. You might have white spot lesions because of:
- Too much plaque. If you have had years of poor oral hygiene, these white spots may indicate that plaque has built up on your teeth. They are a sign that cavities are starting to form.
- Acid reflux. If you often have acid reflux, the acids can eat away at tooth enamel and then start to damage the inner layers of the teeth.
- Poor diet. Years of eating sugary or acidic foods and then not taking care of your teeth can start to wear down tooth enamel. Besides white spots, you might also start to notice that your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages.
- Fluorosis. Getting enough fluoride is vital for teeth to develop properly – but there is such a thing as too much fluoride. If children get too much fluoride when their permanent teeth are forming, it can make tooth enamel weaken, which can make teeth look discolored. Fluorosis can be the result of a child drinking too many fluoridated beverages or often swallowing toothpaste with fluoride.
- Enamel hypoplasia. This may be the result of taking certain medications, a mineral loss caused by a nutritional deficiency, or if a mom smokes while pregnant. In this condition, the tooth enamel is very thin or is missing altogether.
If you’ve noticed white spot lesions, your teeth are trying to tell you that they need help! Contact the Konig Center for Cosmetic and Comprehensive Dentistry in Houston, Texas, for an appointment. Call (713) 668-2289 today!