You look down at your teeth and see a whitish spot. You can’t brush it away, and it seems to appear out of nowhere. What has happened to you? Do you have an infection? Is this tooth going to fall out? Let’s find out what causes white spots on teeth.
Enamel defects (Enamel hypoplasia)
Enamel defects are common. They can be caused by the enamel not forming properly, which is usually due to genetics or poor diet. Smoking during pregnancy can affect your baby’s developing teeth and make them devoid of enamel.
Let’s understand this better. Try sewing many little pieces of material together. Because of the large thread marks, it appears worn and disorganized. Similarly, enamel formation continues bit by bit, like little pieces of fabric, resulting in microscopic white spots or lines on the teeth. This means that; the white spots or lines are an indication of faulty enamel formation on your teeth.
You must have seen children with small white spots on their teeth. This condition occurs when they ingest fluoride in excessive amounts during the years when their teeth are forming. Fluoride is a mineral that helps protect your teeth from decay, but too much of it can cause the formation of white spots. Fluoride can be consumed from a variety of sources, including fluoridated water (most city water includes fluoride), fluoride-containing vitamin supplements, and swallowing fluoride-containing toothpaste.
Demineralization is a process by which your teeth become weakened. This can happen naturally or as a result of gum disease, tooth decay, and other health problems.
As you age, demineralization becomes more likely to occur because the enamel on your teeth thins out as it gets older. It also happens because acidic foods and drinks leach minerals from the enamel into saliva. This can cause yellowish stains on your teeth after eating certain foods or drinks like coffee or tea (orange juice works too).
Ever got braces or noticed someone with braces on their teeth? They are made of thin stainless steel wires and slots. These wires hamper normal toothbrushing and trap the food particles and bacteria. This causes plaque to build on your teeth which can cause cavities and white spots. Another reason is that the braces may rub against your teeth and cause them to become weaker and more prone to developing white spots.
White spots on teeth are not necessarily a sign of a serious dental issue. But when white spots are definitely there, you can’t ignore them; because these can be the first signs of tooth decay. Cavities are one of the most common dental problems, and you don’t want to be one of the millions of people who are suffering from them. If you don’t do anything about it, the white spots can become cavities leading to toothache and sensitivity. Further spread of cavities eventually leads to tooth loss.
White spots on teeth are a relatively common condition that has many different causes. Though harmless at the initial stage; white spot formation on teeth can be extremely damaging in the long run. As it is said “Prevention is the mother of all” white spots can be prevented and completely reversed.