We strive for whiter, brighter smiles, but not in patches! Why am I only seeing partially white? A question we receive frequently pertains to white spots patients see on their teeth. There are ways to avoid these annoying markings, and we can treat them. But first, what are they?
What Causes White Spots on Teeth?
White spots can be caused by a couple different issues. The first is called enamel hypoplasia, which is caused by too much fluoride. This is normally something you have since childhood, and not something you get when you’re an adult.
If you see white spots as an adult, usually they are caused by plaque. Tooth decay and the beginning stages of cavities can also show discoloration on your teeth, which may appear white.
“Sometimes after whitening, our patients have mentioned seeing these spots. Tooth whitening doesn’t cause white spots on your teeth, but can make already existing problems like enamel hypoplasia or tooth decay more apparent,” says Dr. Espinosa. Regardless of the cause, we suggest talking with your dentist to determine the best course of treatment.
How to Treat White Spots on Teeth?
Depending on the cause of the discoloration on your teeth, there are various treatment options.
- If you have had white spots since childhood – “You may not be able to completely erase white stains on teeth, but there are other treatments available to possibly correct the discoloration of your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, teeth whitening with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide treatments can break up stains, which can help brighten the surrounding tooth color so your white spots are less noticeable.”
- If you have excess plaque build-up – Aside from regular maintenance, brushing and flossing twice a day, make sure you’re scheduling your routine cleanings. Plaque is invisible to the naked eye, so you won’t know there is a plaque issue until it’s too late. The white spots may be a warning for what is to come next
- If you have tooth decay or cavities – If caught early, fluoride treatments may help restore your tooth’s enamel. These treatments need to be administered by a professional. At early stages, you may be able to stop or reverse the tooth decay. If you have a cavity however, this is permanent damage to your tooth, and the treatment is to remove the cavity and fill the tooth, or get a “filling.”
How to Prevent Stains from Occurring?
Take the proper measures to ensure you don’t get stains to begin with. Daily brushing and flossing, as well as limiting food and beverages that can cause stains is recommended. Also, routine visits to your dentist can ensure a healthy smile and fewer, permanent stains in the future.
Please take this article as merely educational, as we don’t want you to self-diagnose oral health care issues. Contact your dentist and talk about your concerns. If you would like a free consultation, or second opinion, we are here for you! Call our office to schedule an appointment today.
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Dentist reviews are leading the charge in how we learn about your experience in our practice, and how others view us when making a decision. Thank you to those that have already given their feedback. We know it takes time, and we value and appreciation your input in advance.
5 Stars from Sandra B. “This is by far the best dental establishment I’ve been to in my entire life. The customer service is exemplary. It’s like being part of an extended family. Everyone is so nice, professional and welcoming. Every employee knows your name, situation and dental plan of care. It is a team effort and approach which is nice and makes you feel like a valued part of the family. They made what I thought was an impossible job to get a great smile possible. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel. I am forever grateful. The precision of dental work, competency of skills, dedication to excellence and impeccable customer service is what makes Bonita Del Rey the top dentistry in San Diego!!!!”