How to remove white spots on teeth
White spots on teeth can be caused due to a variety of reasons. Some of the common causes as well as their treatments are discussed below.
Causes of white spots on teeth
White spots on teeth may arise due to the following causes:
- Braces: A person wearing braces may not be able to properly brush the teeth. Such improper dental care can lead to accumulation of plaque, eventually resulting in tooth enamel damage by the plaque acids and formation of cavities. One of the first signs of tooth decay is a decalcified enamel white spot, which often remains unnoticed until the braces are taken out.
- Dental plaque: It is possible for people to misidentify dental plaque as white spots on teeth. Plaque refers to a thin film covering the tooth surface. Food particles stuck on the teeth can also be mistaken as white spots on teeth. The best option is to brush the teeth and fully rinse the mouth, before trying to detect white spots on teeth.
- Calcification: Deposition of calcium on the teeth can result in white spots on teeth. Excess calcium can get added by the ameloblast cells when it carries out the process of enamel formation and tooth development. Calcification can also result in black or brown spots on teeth.
- Fluorosis: It is one of the most widespread causes of white spots on teeth. The condition is characterized by abnormally high levels of fluoride in the body so as to adversely affect the teeth as well as other parts of the skeleton. Drinking water is the primary source of fluoride; however, intake of water with fluoride content of over 1 parts per million is considered as detrimental. Dental fluorosis results in excessive mineralization of the enamel which then causes tooth stains. White spots on teeth occur during the early stages of fluorosis and if the condition is not treated, then it can lead to the development of the more serious skeletal fluorosis.
- Enamel hypoplasia: This condition is characterized by loss of minerals during tooth development leading to abnormal enamel medium formation. The tooth enamel eventually features reduced quality and thickness. In addition to white spots on teeth, enamel hypoplasia can cause deterioration of the occlusal surface as well as development of other kinds of stains on the teeth.
- New cavities: Tooth decay is another common cause of white spots on teeth. Enamel may be the hardest thing in the body, but it is also semi-porous and hence vulnerable to dental caries. In the early stages, the caries lesions have a distinctly outlined chalky-whitish opacity without any enamel breakage. Such a surface appears as discolored white spots. The spots typically form next to the inner dental wall on the anterior teeth.
- Amelogenesis imperfecta: It is a group of inherited conditions characterized by abnormal enamel production. Cementum and dentin levels remain normal. The condition can occur during any of the 3 stages of enamel development, i.e., early mineralization, enamel medium formation or enamel maturation. It can thus be of hypocalcification type, or hypoplastic type, or hypomaturation type. The flaky and whitish enamel is what appears as white spots on teeth. Affected teeth may also experience discoloration of the teeth tips and cusps as well as chipping of the incisal borders, thereby making them look like a snow-capped mountain peak.
- Other causes: Tooth decalcification and subsequent appearance of white spots can also occur due to drinking sodas excessively as well as focused aggressive brushing.
Treatment of white spots on teeth
The below listed treatment options can help get rid of white spots on teeth:
- Air abrasion: In this dental method, a powerful stream of air containing aluminum oxide particles of 25 micron are blasted out from the tip of a sandblaster-like dental equipment to get rid of white spots on teeth. The procedure also helps eliminate old composite restorations and superficial discolorations and stains, thereby preparing the surface of the tooth for bonding.
- Veneers: Also called porcelain veneers, dental veneers are shells custom-created from tooth-colored materials. They enclose the upper tooth surface and enhance their appearance. It may be a quick way to get rid of white spots on teeth, but the procedure is costly and irreversible. Veneers can also be used to repair worn out, broken, or uneven teeth as well as correct other types of teeth discoloration.
- Bonding: This procedure is a comparatively painless way to get rid of white spots on teeth. The dental expert will first prepare the tooth surface and then apply phosphoric acid or other conditioning fluid on it for effective gluing of the bonding material or teeth-colored resin on the teeth. Later, UV light is used to perfectly shape and harden the bonding material.
- Use baking soda to brush: This is a home remedy to get rid of white spots on teeth. Add a small amount of baking soda on the toothpaste and then brush the teeth. Baking soda will destroy the deposits and over time the teeth will become smoother and whiter. It is important to note that baking soda has abrasive qualities and should not be used on a daily basis. Discontinue its use and consult a dentist if you feel any discomfort or pain.
- Brush with homemade toothpaste: Make a toothpaste at home and brush with it to get rid of white spots on teeth. To prepare the toothpaste, take 2 tbsp of baking soda and mix it thoroughly with 1 tbsp. of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. It may be noted that hydrogen peroxide is a mild acid and hence a stronger version should be avoided. Store the paste in an airtight jar and use it for only for 1 month. It is important to use just a little bit of this homemade toothpaste at first to check if there are any side effects. In case you experience side effects then discontinue its use and consult a doctor. Keep the paste away from the reach of children.
The above listed treatment options can help get rid of white spots on teeth. Patients then need to follow oral care guidelines to prevent a recurrence. Good oral hygiene practices like daily brushing and flossing, using a mouthwash twice a day and regular visits to a dentist can help prevent the condition. It is best to use a fluoride-based toothpaste and mouthwash, as fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. Eating a nutritious, healthy, and balanced diet is also recommended.