If your teeth have white spots on the surface of the enamel, you likely have a condition called enamel hypoplasia. Enamel hypoplasia appears as uneven whitening across your smile, but this color is generally noticeably different from the rest of your smile and many people feel self-conscious about it. Those white spots on your teeth are more than just unattractive—they can actually increase your risk for tooth decay! Why does enamel hypoplasia happen and what can you do about it?
One of the reasons enamel hypoplasia happens is due to enamel loss. The enamel is hard, protective layer over our teeth. When enamel is gone, it doesn’t come back. Enamel loss is fairly common and happens as a result of plaque, poor oral hygiene, and even conditions such as chronic dry mouth or acid reflux. Enamel loss usually results in sensitive teeth or tooth discoloration, so visit your dentist if you notice any change in your smile!
Demineralization of Teeth
Tooth enamel is made up of certain minerals. Too many of these minerals can cause white spots, but so can too few! For example, if you’re getting too much fluoride, this could cause your enamel to demineralize, meaning it will weaken and lose its ability to protect your teeth.
Fluoride in moderation can actually help strengthen enamel, but when consumed in excess, it can be damaging to your teeth. You may be getting fluoride both through your toothpaste and drinking water, so check your sources of fluoride to ensure you’re not getting too much.
Another important mineral for your smile is calcium. When too much calcium is present, it can weaken tooth enamel and lead to white spots. However, if you’re not getting enough calcium, the same effect can happen! Learn how much calcium you should be getting and aim for that amount.
Fortunately, there are several treatments for enamel hypoplasia that can help improve the appearance of your white spots and protect your teeth! What can you do for those unsightly spots?
Microabrasion. For small areas, the microabrasion technique involves finely evening out the enamel on your teeth to improve the appearance of white spots.
Porcelain veneers. You may consider porcelain veneers if you have large areas of your teeth affected by enamel hypoplasia.
Take a closer look at your diet. Getting enough minerals to support healthy teeth is essential! Professional teeth whitening. Getting a professional whitening can help to mask the appearance of white spots!
Resin infiltration system. This technology helps to retain enamel and also improves the color of teeth by applying a resin material into the pores, which penetrates teeth and gets rid of those white spots. This method can also help reduce the risk of tooth decay!
Re-mineralization of teeth. Your dentist can recommend an in-office re-mineralization treatment or products you can use to help re-mineralize your enamel at home!
Visit your dentist to talk about those white spots on your teeth and what you can do to make them go away. Often, treatment is needed in order to prevent tooth decay and to ensure your mouth stays healthy. Talk to your dentist about enamel hypoplasia!
(Photo: Wikipedia Commons)