What Are Those White Spots on Your Teeth?


shadow

Some people have teeth that are streaked or spotted with areas that are whiter than the rest of
the teeth. These areas can have a chalky appearance and may be subtle or obvious. These
white spots are a sign of dental fluorosis.

The severity of dental fluorosis varies and while many people won’t have their appearance
dramatically affected, others will. What exactly is dental fluorosis and what can you do about
it?

Why Fluorosis Happens

Fluorosis happens when a person is exposed to too much fluoride as a child while the teeth are
still developing. This fluoride could be from any source, whether it be drinking water or
toothpaste with fluoride. Fluorosis usually presents as white spots on the teeth.

Once the teeth have erupted through the gum tissue, it’s no longer possible to get dental
fluorosis [1]. The change is exclusive to teeth that are still developing beneath the gumline, so
usually the risk for fluorosis decreases once the permanent teeth begin to come in.

Available Treatments for Fluorosis

Once fluorosis happens, there’s no way to stop its effect on teeth. However, there are several
available treatments for fluorosis that can help minimize or eliminate its appearance on your
smile.

These treatments include a professional teeth whitening, microabrasion, and dental veneers
[2]. For people who have mild fluorosis, teeth whitening can help reduce its appearance and
may be the only treatment you need.

Microabrasion is a procedure your experienced dentist can perform that can help people who
have more obvious fluorosis or white spots that won’t respond to a professional whitening.
During microabrasion, a small amount of tooth enamel is removed to restore the appearance of
the teeth. Most dentists will use a fluoride treatment afterward to ensure tooth sensitivity is
kept to a minimum following the procedure.

If the appearance of your dental fluorosis is severe or doesn’t respond to teeth whitening, you
may opt for dental veneers. Dental veneers can cover the teeth affected by fluorosis and give
you a new, brighter smile that permanently masks your fluorosis and looks natural.

Preventing Fluorosis

You can help prevent fluorosis in children, but once the permanent teeth are in, you’ll need to
rely on professional dental treatment to improve the appearance of fluorosis.

To prevent this condition, ensuring your child gets the right amount of fluoride is best. You can
talk to your dentist about your child’s fluoride exposure to determine if it’s appropriate for their
age and health. Remember, the American Dental Association doesn’t recommend using fluoride
toothpaste for children until they reach the age of two [3].

Your dentist can talk more with you about what’s best for your child to help prevent fluorosis
from occurring.

Do You Have Fluorosis?

Do you have white spots on your teeth that have a somewhat chalky appearance? You don’t
have to live with these spots and can receive dental treatment to help minimize their
appearance on your smile. Schedule a consultation with your dentist today to discuss treatment
for your dental fluorosis!

Sources:
1. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/fluorosis
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2883808/
3. https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(14)60226-9/fulltext?dgcid=PromoSpots_EBDsite_fluoride-toothpaste-young-children

Summary
Article Name
What Are Those White Spots on Your Teeth?
Description
The severity of dental fluorosis varies and while many people won’t have their appearance dramatically affected, others will. What exactly is dental fluorosis and what can you do about it?
Author
Metropolitan Dental Centre