The presence of white spots on the teeth can be upsetting since everyone wants to have a perfect, healthy smile. There are many problems that can affect teeth and white spots may seam like the least of them, but it is still important to know what is causing them and address the source of the problem.
Some people have congenital discoloration on their teeth and the white spots have been there ever since the teeth have erupted, but in other cases the white spots are caused by a problem or a condition that needs to be treated before it causes more damage.
Causes of white spots on teeth
There are several possible reasons why white spots appear on the teeth. Fluorosis is the most common cause of this problem. In this condition the levels on fluoride in the body reach such high levels that it starts to show on the teeth and the bones. The main source of fluoride is tap water, although its presence in the water that is consumed rarely exceeds 1 ppm. Fluorosis first affects the tooth enamel and shows as white spots, but if the levels of fluoride are not reduced it may start to affect bones as well, and become a more serious medical issue.
White spots on teeth are often a result of caries or tooth decay. Tooth enamel is one of the strongest materials in the nature but it is still porous, and its porosity can increase. Tooth decay can start as a white lesion without breaks in the enamel. It usually happens on front teeth, near the interdental wall.
Dental plaque can easily be mistaken for white spots on teeth. This microfilm is a result of food particles and bacteria debris that stick firmly to the surface of the tooth and may progress and become tartar.
Enamel hypoplasia is a condition that may lead to progressive degeneration of the teeth. in this condition the enamel is not fully developed and it is not as thick and firm as it should be. It leads to white spots, breakdown of occlusal surface and to other stains.
Amelogenesis imperfecta is a term used to describe a group of rare hereditary diseases that affect the enamel and lead to white spots on teeth. The teeth look white and flaky and they are easily chipped.
Treatment for white spots on teeth
The treatment for this problem depends on its cause. If the cause is fluorosis, the treatment will be to stop drinking tap water with fluoride added, and if it is plaque or cavities, the person will need to see a dentist to fix it. For abnormalities like hypoplasia or amelogenesis imperfecta, the treatment may be difficult because the tooth structure is already weak. Teeth bleaching is usually not recommended because the spots are already white and it will not help to bleach them more.