Decalcification of Teeth: Causes, Treatment & Prevention
You are looking in the mirror while brushing your teeth and you happen to notice that your previously perfect looking teeth now have some white spots on them. Their appearance can be very surprising and you don’t like how they make your teeth look. Time to talk to a Palm Harbor dentist.
What are these spots? Why do they appear? Are my teeth in trouble? We are here to help you find the answers to the question of why you get white spots on your teeth.
What Are The White Spots On Your Teeth Called?
When you go to see your dentist and they mention that they see decalcification on your teeth, that is the name for the white spots on your teeth. It can signal that you may be prone to worse problems down the road.
What Are The Potential Problems Of Teeth Decalcification?
While there are other dental issues that can point to these health problems, these white spots can indicate that you may have a future that includes cavities, gum disease, receding gums, and lost teeth.
What Causes Dental Decalcification?
You get these white spots if you let bacteria stay on your teeth for a good amount of time. As a result, you get plaque and tartar, which can break down the enamel of your tooth. When this happens, it gets rid of calcium … and leaves behind telltale white spots on those teeth.
There are a few things that can cause this to happen. They include:
- Your Diet – There are a lot of foods that can cause problems. They include sugary candies, sticky candies, soda, and starchy foods like bread and pasta. Some medications have side effects that include dry mouth and if you smoke that can open the door for bacteria. The same goes for alcohol.
- Braces – While you did your best brushing your teeth when you were wearing the braces, there are spots that you can’t reach. Bacteria can get in there … and then when you have the braces removed, you may have those spots.
- Fluorosis – This can happen to kids aged eight or younger. Their bodies can’t handle too much exposure to fluoride. They will get those white sports or even have pits on the enamel.
- Plaque Buildup – We alluded to this earlier. When plaque builds up, it will attack your teeth and enamel.
- Enamel Hypoplasia – Dentists see this with people who have undeveloped enamel. Kids whose mother smoked during pregnancy can be prone to it. Those with cerebral palsy, liver, or kidney problems can get this.
- Calcium Deposits – This is a result of letting plaque stay on too long.
- Sleeping With Your Mouth Open – Besides from looking a bit goofy, sleeping with your mouth open means that it can dry out over the course of those eight hours or so that you are asleep. Saliva keeps your mouth moist … and a dry mouth can allow more bacteria to breed. That bacteria will then attack your teeth.
How Can Decalcification Of Teeth Be Treated?
Your dentist can present you one or more of these solutions:
- Microabrasion – Your dentist will use a combination of hydrochloric acid and pumice to remove the white spots. It’s painless and you will see your white spots disappear.
- Whitening – You can get your teeth with white spots to look like the others by doing this. It’s really for those who have white teeth already – those with gray or yellow teeth may not get good results.
- Veneers – The dentist will shave a little bit of enamel off the front and then put this porcelain strip in front to improve the look in front of the tooth.
- Chin Strap – This is something you can wear every night so that you can keep your mouth closed while you sleep. No more having to worry about dry mouth.
- ICON Resin Infiltration Treatment – Here, the dentist takes off the top layer of enamel, cleans it, and then puts the resin solution to cover up all the pores of the tooth.
How Can I Keep Teeth Decalcification From Happening In The Future?
While there are a range of reasons, you can have your white spots taken care of pretty easily. But ultimately, it depends on how diligent you are with your oral hygiene. That means you have to brush your teeth twice a day, floss once and ensure that you sleep with your mouth closed. Also, you should watch your diet to make sure that you have the right kinds of food and drink. Sugary beverages should be had in extreme moderation.
Yes, it can be startling to see those white spots on your teeth, but if you act quickly and have them taken care of early on, you can possibly prevent any more issues. The best way to keep it from happening or progressing to a more advanced stage is to see your dentist twice a year for regular check-ups. That way, you can keep your smile looking great year-round.
If you see white spots on your teeth or your child’s and you live in or near Palm Harbor, you can see the great dentists at VIP Dental Center. They will examine your mouth and tell you what you can do to prevent them in the future. Contact us today for an appointment: 727-787-2424