When we think of a beautiful smile, we imagine beautiful white teeth surrounded by clean and healthy gums.  Good teeth make up a good smile. Some people do whatever they can to keep their smile as white as possible. But sometimes, discolorations like white blotches appear on the teeth. This shade of white does not blend with the rest of your teeth, and some people find this annoying. White spots on teeth may indicate decay of the tooth, so it’s essential to identify the cause. (1)

White spots on teeth can appear due to diverse reasons. If there’s a disturbance to the tooth-development process, white spots can appear on the surface of the tooth, but a shade of white that is different from the rest of your teeth.

White spots on teeth can also form due to an accumulation of bacterial plaque. Bacterial acids produced from plaque can cause white spots as they begin to dissolve tooth enamel and lead to decay.

What causes white spots on teeth?

The white blotches on your teeth can be due to many causes linked to poor oral health, developmental factors, or as a result of previous dental treatment.

Your dentist can explain specific objectives and then determine the best way to treat your condition. Common causes include –

Fluorosis

Fluorosis is one of the primary reasons for white spots on teeth. Fluorosis occurs when an excessive amount of fluoride is ingested while teeth are still developing.

Fluoride strengthens teeth and prevents decay, but too much fluoride in developing teeth can have the opposite effect, causing decay and discoloration.

Fluorosis is caused in children consuming too many fluoridated beverages or swallow fluoride toothpaste.

Poor nutrition

What foods you eat immensely affect the quality of enamel on your teeth, causing your teeth to change into a different shade. Over time, if you keep consuming a diet with insufficient vitamins and minerals, you are very likely to develop white spots and create more discolored spots on your teeth.

Tooth decay

Poor dental hygiene may lead to plaque formation, which leads to tooth decay and caries. Tooth decay is one of the principal causes of white spots on teeth. Teeth whitening is a solution that can help to change the coloration of your teeth.

Enamel hypoplasia

Enamel hypoplasia results from nutritional deficiencies, high fever, and medicinal side effects, as well as premature births and prenatal smoking.

Areas of enamel hypoplasia are less mineralized and, therefore, more prone to decay. The enamel looks a lot like fluorosis, with spots varying from milky white to brownish or yellow.

Decalcification or Demineralization

Decalcification or demineralization is the process in which minerals, primarily calcium and phosphorous, are dissipated from tooth structure by acids formed from bacteria. (2)

Enamel demineralization is the initial stage of tooth decay and caries and is most commonly seen on surfaces of teeth as chalky white spots. Decalcification enamel occurs when the remineralization of the tooth is disrupted.

Calcium deposits

When the tooth is developing, an excessive amount of calcium can escape and could result in stains on the enamel or white spots on teeth.

Calcium deposits on teeth can build up quickly when we grow older if we don’t practice proper dental hygiene habits, causing discoloration of our teeth.

Braces removal

When you have worn braces for a long time, the surface of your teeth may appear of a different shade, especially at places where your braces were once present.

The part of the crown which was covered by the metal of braces looks whiter than rest of the tooth. It can be caused by plaque accumulation underneath the area where the metal was placed.

Genetics

Genetics can also play a role in the presence of white spots on our teeth. Unfortunately, if white spot lesions run in your family, you should be extra careful with your teeth. These white spots on teeth can be inherited from your ancestors.

Teeth Whitening Strips

Teeth whitening strips are very popular for their whitening properties, but they contain high acidic levels, which ends up degrading the enamel from your teeth.

With the erosion of enamel, there’s a more significant chance of getting white stains on your pearly white teeth.

Treatment of white spots on teeth

There are several different treatments for the eradication of white spots on teeth. These treatments depend on the severity and condition of the white marks on your teeth. Here are some treatment options you can consider –

Microabrasion

This type of procedure involves removing a thin layer of surface enamel to improve the appearance of the teeth. The right application of microabrasion techniques allows a considerable improvement in appearance and color of the teeth. (3)

Dental bleaching

Teeth bleaching will help you remove white stains from teeth and balances the color of your tooth enamel. Tooth whitening is a very cost-effective dental treatment to improve your smile. (4)

Dental bleaching is not a permanent solution. It requires further maintenance over the years.

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are great options when the white spots cannot be removed by bleaching or microabrasion alone.

Veneers are attenuated sheets of composite resin or porcelain that are placed over the teeth to prevent further decay of the tooth. Veneers provide a natural and attractive look.

Dental Veneer covers the surface of the teeth and improves their appearance by changing color, shape, size or length of the teeth.

How to Prevent White Spots on Teeth?

Regular and thorough brushing and flossing prevent you from plenty of dental problems. It is essential to take proper care so that the white spots on teeth do not reappear.

Here are numerous steps you can follow to avoid white stains from appearing on your teeth:

  1. Brush and floss regularly, and use toothpaste with optimum fluoride levels.
  2. Avoid acidic foods and beverages, and some food products may increase acidic levels and dry mouth, leading to more bacteria growing within your teeth.
  3. Consume foods rich in Vitamin D, as well as calcium and magnesium. Enamel consists of calcium compounds. therefore deficiency of calcium can cause demineralization.
  4. One of the prime and easiest ways to prevent white stains on your teeth is by drinking water. If our mouths aren’t properly hydrated, saliva production slows down. The Decrease in saliva leads to an increase in acidity of mouth, allowing bacteria to grow and attack the teeth with acid.
  5. If you wear braces, then take extra care to clean your teeth properly.

Over to you on white spots

We all want our teeth in the healthiest state possible. If you notice that the White spots on teeth are changing in size or number, or they are starting to pain, you should immediately see the dentist.

A dentist can analyze the symptoms and condition of the teeth after a thorough examination and will recommend a treatment plan. A regular visit to your dentist may help in early diagnosis of various dental problems and maintain overall good oral hygiene.

White spots on teeth may indicate decay of the tooth. White spots can form due to an accumulation of bacterial plaque or due to fluorosis