What’s With the White Spots on Your Teeth?
Are you suddenly noticing white spots or stains on your teeth when you don’t remember them being there before?
This is often a major concern for people, as your smile is one of the first things that people will notice about you, and white spots can be aesthetically unappealing.
However, white spots, especially when they are found on the front teeth, are actually quite common, and they generally occur due to a loss of mineral content on the enamel. In many cases, they are simply a cosmetic concern, but you should be sure to talk to your dentist to see if something more serious might be involved.
Causes of White Spots on the Teeth
After you first start noticing the white spots, marks, or stains on your teeth, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist. There are a variety of causes that can be contributing to your white spots:
- Acid reflux. If you suffer from GERD or acid reflux, your mouth experiences greater acidity than normal. This excess acid can cause damage to your teeth, resulting in the presence of white spots.
- Plaque buildup. If you don’t brush your teeth properly, plaque can accumulate on the teeth. This substance is typically colorless and sticky, but if it is allowed to harden and build up in one place, it can become light in color.
- Consuming acidic beverages. If you are drinking too many acidic beverages, such as soda, lemonade, or orange juice, the acids found in these drinks can begin to eat away at the enamel of your teeth. The end result could be those unsightly white spots.
- Dry mouth. If you suffer from dry mouth as a result of a medical condition, taking a prescription medication, using tobacco, or mouth breathing, you can develop white spots on your teeth. When you don’t have enough saliva to maintain a healthy pH level in your mouth, acid-producing bacteria can thrive and start to attack the teeth.
- Fluorosis. This condition results due to excess fluoride, especially during the development of the teeth during childhood.
- Celiac disease. This autoimmune disease can cause white spots on the teeth. Other signs may include yellowed teeth, teeth with grooves or pitting, and undersized teeth.
- Braces. The braces themselves won’t result in white spots, but failing to follow a good dental hygiene regimen when you have braces on certainly can. If you don’t properly care for your teeth when the braces are on, once they are removed, white spots could be left behind.
- Whitening strips. Certain brands of pharmacy whitening strips can cause white spots on the teeth, especially if you overuse them.
Getting Rid of White Spots
Obviously the first thing that you need to do when coming up with a strategy to get rid of white spots is to find out what is causing them. If you have acid reflux, treating this condition can help to eliminate future spots. You should also avoid acidic and sugary foods and beverages and make sure that you are getting enough calcium in your diet.
If you feel that you are having a difficult time properly caring for your teeth, investing in an electric or battery operated toothbrush can be a good idea. These brushes often do a much better job at reducing plaque than a traditional toothbrush. A water pick can also helpful in removing debris and food particles that are stuck between the teeth or are lodged within your braces.
If you are suddenly noticing white spots on your teeth, be sure to contact our office to set up an appointment. There is a likely a simple explanation and treatment method available, and we can help you to explore your options.