Dark stains from beverages or tobacco are not the only discolorations that occur on teeth. Some people also have white spots on their teeth. The uneven coloration can impact the teeth appearance, but it can also be a sign of oral or overall health issues. If you want to know how to get rid of white spots on teeth, you first need to know what causes these lesions. Here is what you need to know about the white spots that can show up on your teeth and how to combat these dental lesions.
Why Do I Have White Spots on My Teeth?
The flecks of white on your teeth are a type of lesion that can indicate early tooth decay. The good news is that these are not caries – yet. You can reverse white spot lesions on the teeth with treatment from your dentist. The treatment for white spots on teeth depends on what is causing these lesions and whether you want to remove them, cover them or stop the damage from occurring.
There are a couple of possible causes for white spots on teeth. You may have these lesions due to genetics, diet, environmental factors, oral hygiene and more. Some of the most common causes of white spot lesions on teeth include:
- Enamel hypoplasia. Thin enamel, or enamel hypoplasia, can cause white spots to appear on your teeth. This can be caused by nutritional deficiencies, genetics, dental injuries and birth defects (preterm births or other pregnancy factors).
- Fluorosis. Intaking too much fluoride can cause fluorosis that results in tooth discolorations. Drinking or ingesting too much fluoride in food, beverages or other substances can be harmful to teeth – this is different than using fluoride dental products like toothpaste or mouthwash, which are not designed to be ingested.
- Demineralization. The teeth are composed of minerals like calcium. Demineralization can cause white spots, which occurs with poor oral hygiene (plaque accumulation), especially for those wearing braces. These are early spots of tooth decay that are caused by plaque on teeth or accumulated under braces.
- Calcium deficiency. If you are not getting enough calcium in your diet, it can harm the strength of your teeth. White spots on teeth can be due to a low calcium diet.
Determining the cause of your white spot lesions is the first step in determining how to get rid of white spots on teeth. Your dentist can perform an exam and diagnose the likely cause of your discolorations and the best treatment to restore your oral health and even teeth color.
Treatments for White Spots on Teeth
Improving oral hygiene and overall health are important if you have white lesion spots on your teeth. Ensuring you brush and floss daily can remove plaque and if you have braces, it is vital to clean carefully around the wires and brackets to remove plaque. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of foods rich in calcium can be helpful – some people can benefit from taking a calcium supplement if they are calcium deficient. Your dentist may recommend tooth repairs or more frequent teeth cleanings to avoid white lesion spots.
Beyond preventing white spots from occurring, there are treatments for removing or hiding white spots on your smile. Options for restoring an even, white smile include:
- Teeth whitening or bleaching. Professional teeth whitening can create an even, white smile. If you have white spots, you will want to consult your dentist on the best bleaching method to create the desired effect.
- Microabrasion. Removing a thin layer of enamel with microabrasion can reduce the appearance of white spots and improve the appearance of teeth.
- Fluoride treatments. Even though white spots can be caused by ingesting too much fluoride, topical fluoride treatments can be beneficial for strengthening tooth enamel and reducing white spots.
- Porcelain veneers. For those with white spots caused by genetic or birth defect factors, covering or hiding lesions may be the best solution. Porcelain veneers can hide your white spots and improve the appearance of your teeth.
There are many reasons you may have white spots on your teeth and multiple ways to combat these lesions. Good oral hygiene, balanced nutrition, routine dental visits and cosmetic dentistry can all help you get rid of white spots on teeth and improve your oral health.
If you have wondered, “Why do I have white spots on my teeth?” you now have a better idea what could be causing this form of tooth discoloration. To find the right treatment for your white spots, visit your dentist for a checkup and cleaning. In many cases, good oral hygiene and preventive dental care can reverse these early signs of tooth decay. For aesthetics, cosmetic dentistry like teeth whitening and porcelain veneers can restore a balanced, white smile. See your dentist to learn more.