Have you noticed white spots on your teeth? You may assume they’re simply a cosmetic issue, but on the contrary, white spots on your teeth can indicate a problem with your tooth enamel.
While our dentists will identify white spots during your twice-yearly checkups, consider scheduling an appointment sooner if you notice developing white spots. The sooner your teeth are treated, the less damage will occur.
What are white spots?
White spots are actually called white spot lesions, and they are the first sign that your tooth enamel has been compromised. Generally, these spots indicate a loss of minerals in the enamel of a tooth.
Plaque formation enables acidity to build up in your mouth. If you eat a lot of carbohydrates and drink sugary beverages, plaque buildup and the resulting acidity will occur faster – and your tooth enamel will deteriorate.
White spots can also be caused by trauma to developing teeth—for instance, when a child falls and injures his/her mouth.
While some people believe braces cause white spot lesions, it is not the fact. Braces can contribute to plaque and acidity buildup, but with proper dental hygiene, they do not cause the white spots themselves.
White spots are early indicators of cavity formation, so it’s best to see your Fioritto dentist as soon as possible. If left untreated, your enamel will erode, ultimately resulting in a cavity. While there’s no “cure” for white spot lesions, our dentists can reduce their appearance and provide additional preventative care.
White spot lesion treatment
Unfortunately, white spots result in a permanent change to your tooth structure. However, we have treatment options. Treatment is dependent on several factors including: cause, size, quantity and degree of enamel deterioration.
For smaller, less severe lesions, your Fioritto Family dentist may use microabrasion to reduce the lesion’s appearance. This treatment uses mild abrasives to remove surface irregularities and superficial stains. (It can also be used in conjunction with whitening treatments, for cosmetic purposes.) This process smooths the surface and gives teeth an overall even appearance.
If you have an unusually high number of white spot lesions, or they’ve deteriorated considerably, we may suggest capping the tooth/teeth or veneers. Alternately, your dentist may use a white filling to repair cavity formation and blend with your enamel. This is determined on a case-by-case basis, so be sure to talk to us about which options may be right for you.
Oral hygiene tips
The best way to prevent white spot formation is to take great care of your smile. In addition to brushing after each meal, don’t forget to floss at least once per day. Use a dentist-approved mouthwash to remove additional bacteria and buildup.
Keep up with your regular dental check-ups to ensure we find any lesions before they have an opportunity to deteriorate your enamel. To schedule an appointment, call Fioritto Family Dental today!