Ask a Bend Dentist | How Can I Treat White Spots on My Teeth?
There are a couple of different reasons you may have white spots on your teeth. Take a moment to consider if you’ve had the white spots on your teeth for as long as you can remember, or if they are just starting to crop up now. Depending on your answer, we can learn a lot about what is causing the white spots on your teeth, and how you can best treat them. Bend Dentist Dr. Arredondo gives us the inside scoop.
Ask a Bend Dentist: What’s the Deal with These White Spots on My Teeth?
If You’ve Had White Spots on Your Teeth Forever
If you’ve had white spots on your teeth for as long as you can remember—we’re talking the second your permanent teeth came in—you likely have fluorosis. Fluorosis results in children who’ve ingested excess fluoride in their youth. This is especially common in those that grew up with well water or lived in areas where the water was heavily fluorinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drinking water with more than two milligrams of fluoride per liter is enough to do the trick.
If you’re thinking, “this is so me,” here’s how it happened: While your permanent teeth were developing beneath your gums, long exposure to high doses of fluoride caused an excess of mineralization. That mineralization manifested as a hard white spot on your teeth. As a result, those white spots form the hardest part of your tooth. All of this occurs before the age of eight. Once permanent teeth are in place, you can no longer get fluorosis from fluoride exposure.
Unfortunately, these white spots cannot be removed as they are now an inherent part of your tooth. For most, these spots are barely noticeable and do not require any treatment. For those with more prominent spots, there are a couple of options available to minimize their appearance. Whitening, for instance, can help remove surface stains—though it may make white spots more noticeable temporarily.
Bend Dentist Dr. Arredondo can also bond a tooth colored resin to your enamel to cover it. Veneers cover the front of the teeth and can be an excellent way to hide more severe cases of fluorosis. Even crowns can be helpful. Schedule a consultation to learn how you can treat your fluorosis.
If You’re Just Now Noticing White Spots on Your Teeth
If, on the other hand, you are only just now noticing white spots on your teeth, read on. Decalcification of the teeth can be the first sign a cavity is forming. This results from plaque buildup that weakens the teeth. You might notice these white spots in areas where braces or permanent retainers made it difficult to reach with a toothbrush or floss. You might also notice that these spots are more sensitive to cold or hot beverages.
If this is the case for you, cut back on the sugar and make sure you are brushing and flossing regularly. This should cause these spots to weaken or disappear over time. We also recommend getting a thorough dental evaluation and cleaning. There, Bend Dentist Dr. Arredondo will be able to let you know if your white spots have resulted from fluorosis or dental plaque. In the case of the former, he can help you review your options. In the case of the latter, he can make sure your teeth are free from plaque and that any cavities that have resulted from it can be seen to.
If you have white spots on your teeth, contact Dr. Arredondo to schedule your consultation or dental cleaning.
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