Although people may see white spots on their teeth as undesirable, they rarely need to be a serious cause for concern from a medical point of view.
In this article, we look at the reasons why people might get white spots on their teeth, and provide 11 tips for treating and preventing them.
There are several possible causes of white spots on the teeth.
A common cause is dental fluorosis.
People usually get this when they are young if they consumed too much fluoride as a child. It is usually a harmless condition that only tends to develop before the teeth break through the gums.
Another common cause is enamel hypoplasia.
This condition occurs when a person’s teeth enamel does not form properly. Like fluorosis, hypoplasia only occurs during childhood when a person’s teeth are still developing. However, it can increase the risk of tooth decay.
Other causes of white spots on the teeth include poor dental hygiene, especially when someone is wearing braces, or eating too many acidic or sugary foods.
There are several possible treatments for white spots on the teeth. The suitability of these treatments may depend on the underlying cause of the white spots and the condition of a person’s teeth.
1. Enamel microabrasion
Some people may be able to have microabrasion done to treat their white spots. During this procedure, a dentist removes a small amount of enamel from the teeth to reduce the appearance of the white spots.
This professional treatment is typically followed by teeth bleaching, which can make the teeth appear more uniform in color.
2. Teeth whitening or bleaching
Whitening or bleaching teeth can help to reduce the appearance of white spots and other stains. A variety of teeth whitening products, such as strips and paste, are available over-the-counter (OTC.) People can also buy these products online.
People with white spots can also see a dentist for professional whitening treatments. These treatments tend to use stronger bleaching solutions than those available OTC, which may make them work better.
3. Dental veneer
Dental veneers are thin, protective coverings that attach to the front surface of a person’s teeth. They can conceal white spots and other blemishes very effectively.
Dental veneers are only available from a dentist and must be professionally fitted. This can make them costly.
4. Topical fluoride
A dentist may apply topical fluoride to the teeth of people with enamel hypoplasia. This may encourage the development of enamel on the teeth and help prevent tooth decay.
5. Composite resin
For people with enamel hypoplasia, a dentist may apply composite resin to fill in cavities and to bond the outer enamel of the teeth. This may not be suitable if people have large numbers of white spots on their teeth.