WHITE SPOTS ON TEETH- CAUSES,TREATMENT AND PREVENTION
· There are numerous reasons for white spots to appear, including an acidic/sugary diet, poor dental hygiene, tooth trauma and certain medications.
· It is important to understand the cause of your white spots to administer the proper treatment and prevent bigger oral health problems, such as decay and tooth loss, from developing in future.
1. Demineralization : creates white spots of decalcified enamel on teeth due to long term bacteria build-up in the mouth and consequent mineral loss of tooth.
-White spots that form due to mineralization may indicate tooth decay.
2. Turner’s tooth, or enamel hypoplasia:
Characterized by a defect in the quality and thickness of enamel.
- Turner’s tooth can be caused by multiple factors, such as malnutrition, smoking during pregnancy, preterm birth, or high fever due to illness.
- People with these white spots may be more prone to sensitivity and decay in the areas of the spots.
- Although there are many benefits of fluoride, too much can cause tooth discoloration.
- Excess fluoride can come from drinking tap water, swallowing toothpaste or taking fluoride supplements.
- To prevent demineralization and complications from Turner’s tooth, make sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly.
- After eating and drinking, neutralize the acids in your mouth by drinking and swishing water around in your mouth.
- Avoid grazing or sipping on beverages throughout the day (other than water).
- To prevent excess fluoride, monitor the amount of toothpaste your children use. Children should apply no more than a pea size of toothpaste onto the toothbrush.
- Supervise your children when they brush their teeth and make sure your child spits out the toothpaste and doesn’t swallow it.
- If you have white spots due to mineralization, the treatment would include making improvements to your dental hygiene.
- Adults and children need to brush their teeth at least twice a day for 2 mins at a time and floss daily.
- The dentist can prescribe a fluoride gel to help strengthen your teeth and prevent existing white spots from turning into cavities.
- If your dentist determines that you have Turner’s tooth and your white spots are not causing decay or cavities, then there is no need to treat them.
- If you are feeling self-conscious about these spots, treatment such as professional teeth whitening and dental veneers can make the white spots less noticeable.
- To treat fluorosis, you can reduce your fluoride consumption by using the recommended amount of toothpaste and drinking bottled water, instead of from tap.
- In severe cases, to correct any permanent discoloration, cosmetic dentistry techniques can be utilized (e.g., teeth whitening, veneers, crowns and other restorations).