We all want white teeth, but white spots, streaks, or splotches that stand out may not be something you’re comfortable with.
If you’re wondering “why do my teeth have white spots?” we can help you figure out the cause and how to improve your teeth’s appearance.
The cause of white spots on teeth depends on the age when the spots first appeared, whether there are other symptoms of a problem, and what aspects of your oral care and lifestyle could be contributing.
Among the types of white stains we see at Dr. Mullins’ office, there are a few distinct types of cases:
1. Dental fluorosis. If you ingest too much fluoride before you’re 8 years old, you can develop dental fluorosis. Since children are prone to swallowing toothpaste accidentally, children’s toothpastes often contain little or no fluoride. Water from wells can also contain too much fluoride, leading to dental fluorosis. If you have well water, you can learn more about having it tested for fluoride here.
2. Antibiotics during childhood. While children’s teeth are still developing, the use of antibiotics like tetracycline can interfere with the formation of enamel and result in white spots, a rough texture, or other enamel issues. If you took antibiotics as a child, this may be the cause of your white spots. Of course, antibiotics can be absolutely necessary to help treat a bacterial illness; if you have a child who’s being treated, just ask your child’s doctor about potential dental impacts.
3. Enamel hypoplasia. Many things can interfere with development of healthy tooth enamel (known as enamel hypoplasia) in addition to the use of antibiotics. Nutritional problems and illnesses in pregnant women, newborn babies (especially those born pre-term), and young children can cause problems with enamel that lead to white spots and other problems later in life when the teeth come in.
4. Acid damage. If you eat and drink a lot of acidic foods and beverages, or if you have acid reflux disease, your enamel may have been damaged by acid, resulting in white spots from the decalcification of your enamel. Chronic dry mouth and plaque buildup can also result in acid damage, as the bacteria in your mouth feeds on sugars and produces acid. Cutting back on acidic foods, drinking lots of water, careful dental hygiene, and regular cleanings can help prevent further damage from acid.
5. Braces. If you had braces but weren’t diligent about your oral hygiene, you may have white spots once they’re removed, in the areas where plaque built up and resulted in acid damage and decalcification.
6. Celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that only affects about 4% of the population, but a large proportion of people who suffer from it have dental problems, including loss of enamel and white spots.
7. Overuse of whitening kits. It is possible to damage your enamel and cause white spots with home whitening kits, so be sure to follow the instructions on the package!
If you’ve had white spots since childhood, there’s a strong chance you have dental fluorosis, and you will probably have these spots permanently. While most whitening won’t improve the look of white spots from fluorosis or tetracycline, KöR Deep Bleaching is one of the few that can help, because it works by allowing oxygen particles to penetrate deep into the teeth and dissolve stains. Contact us today to see if KöR Deep Bleaching is right for you!
If you’re seeing white spots or other kinds of stains that haven’t been there since childhood, you should visit your dentist soon for a thorough cleaning and to evaluate the source of your white spots.
A visit to Dr. Mullins can take care of all your routine cleaning needs as well as addressing issues like white spots. As with any oral health problem, nipping it in the bud can prevent the spread of tooth decay and gum disease. We can also provide whatever cosmetic work you might need to get back your clean, consistently white smile!
Get in touch today to schedule an appointment –just click here!
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