Sometimes, crooked teeth or misaligned teeth, dull yellow teeth, receding gums and even white spots on teeth can spoil the smile.
What are White Spots? How are They Formed?
White spots on the teeth generally indicate some loss of mineral content from the surface of the teeth. The teeth are covered by a hard mineral substance called the enamel. When minerals are lost from this layer of enamel, then white spots begin to appear on the teeth. They occur due to hypo-calcification. Dentists call these white spots as hypoplasia.
The enamel is a strong layer. When this enamel breaks down, then the covering or protection for the teeth is lost and gradually, the teeth are more prone to cavities. Therefore, white spots on the teeth should be considered as a first warning sign and care should be taken, so that tooth decay can be prevented.
Common Causes of White Spots on Teeth
- Having foods rich in acid content – Acidic drinks such as carbonated drinks, lemonades, and acidic food such as sour candies, can cause white spots. The high acidic content of these foods and drinks removes the enamel from the surface of the teeth, causing white spots.
- Dry mouth – Some medical conditions cause the mouth to be dry, without much saliva. In these conditions, the PH of the mouth is not maintained and the bacteria tend to grow, causing infection and removal of the enamel from the teeth.
- Poor oral care and hygiene – When oral care and hygiene is not undertaken, bacteria tend to grow. There will be also a buildup of plaque that causes periodontal diseases. Improper brushing does not remove the sugary and starchy food substances that are left on the teeth. Bacteria feed on these food particles and gradually breakdown the enamel surface.
- Fluorosis – Fluoride is a dental-friendlymineral when taken in the requisite numbers. Excess of fluoride causes white spots to appear on the teeth as well as it leads to tooth decay. Excessive fluoride can cause enamel discoloration and teeth can appear in different shades of white or yellow, chalky white, or even brown. It is a known fact that children with developing teeth should be careful not to swallow toothpaste, as there are chances of excess fluoride consumption.
- Demineralization – When bacterial plaque is allowed to accumulate on the teeth, it slowly leads to the demineralization of the enamel, thereby causing white spots to emerge.
- Wearing Braces – Wearing braces for a long period of time, also can cause white spots to appear. Therefore extensive dental care and hygiene are always recommended for people wearing braces.
How to Get Rid of White Spots on Teeth?
Dentists generally suggest techniques like bleaching, capping the teeth with a white filling, applying porcelain veneer, micro-abrasion etc.
Check out the following ways by which you can remove white spots on the teeth.
- Remineralization is a technique that is followed to remove the white spots. The white spots are the places where the enamel has lost some of its minerals. Superficially, this area may look normal, but when seen microscopically, there are small microscopic holes. In the remineralization process, these holes are filled up and the teeth are remineralized. Most of the home remedies focus on this aspect in the treatment of white spots.
- Micro-abrasion – This is a procedure wherein, a thin layer of the enamel is removed from the surface of the teeth. This improves the overall appearance of the teeth. This gives a great aesthetic appearance and there are no white spots that can be seen.
- Bleaching – This is a process, where tooth whitening is undertaken by the dentist to help balance out the color of the enamel. White spots are effectively removed by this process.
- Porcelain veneers – If you have significant and very visible white spots, even after bleaching is done, then porcelain veneers are a great option to remove these spots. Here, thin layers of ceramic material called veneers are bonded to the teeth. This results in white and natural looking teeth, which are stain resistant too.
- Using remineralizingtoothpaste or tooth powder also helps in removal of white spots.
- You should also avoid certain food so that remineralizing of the teeth happens efficiently. These are foods having phyticacids,(which are mineral blockers) such as nuts like cashews, almonds, and walnuts; Seeds like linseed, flaxseed, rapeseed, sesame seeds, sunflower seed etc.; A few whole grains such as wheat bran, oats, rice bran, barley etc. and beans and legumes. All these foods are healthy foods but rich in phytic acids. Hence avoiding them, all together is a bad idea. Soaking the seeds, nuts, and even beanshelps in reducing the phytic acid content.
- Eating vitamin and mineral rich food also helps in remineralizing the teeth, thereby, reducing the white spots on the teeth.
- Oil pulling is also amethod that is suggested by many believers of Ayurveda, to help remove the white spots and brighten the yellow teeth. Here, in this method, a tablespoon of coconut oil is taken in the mouth and the oil is swirled in the mouth for around twenty minutes. After which the oil is to be spit out. It is believed that the coconut oil removes the bacteria and plaque content, and therefore keeps the entire teeth and gum area clean and neat, brightening the teeth.
And you can have the best smile in this world!