Dental News

What Causes White Spots on Teeth?

March 28, 2015

Learn about the causes of and treatments for white spots on teeth.

What Causes White Spots on Teeth?Have you noticed white spots on your teeth or your child’s teeth? In most cases, the spot itself is nothing to worry about, unless it presents a cosmetic problem. However, in all cases the spot does indicate a larger problem or problems that need to be addressed, such as:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: If you do not take good care of your teeth, excessive amounts of plaque bacteria will build up. This is a problem for many reasons. It can cause tooth decay and gum disease and may eventually contribute to tooth loss. As if that weren’t bad enough, the acids created by plaque bacteria can also erode or thin your tooth enamel, which may create white spots.
  • Acidic Diet: The acids in your diet can also cause enamel erosion to occur, leading to the formation of white spots. Some common high-acid problem foods include soda, energy drinks, citrus fruits & juices, and vinegar.
  • Lack of Calcium: If you do not have enough calcium in your diet, your body will not have the nutrients it needs to build and maintain strong, healthy teeth and you may notice white spots forming.

White Spots on Tips of Teeth

If you have noticed white spots mainly on the tips of your teeth, this indicates that the most likely cause is acidic foods in your diet. Be sure to brush your teeth or at least rinse your mouth out promptly after consuming acidic foods or drinks to limit the damage.

White Spots After Braces

White spots that appear after placing or removing traditional braces are most often caused by plaque. It is interesting to note that patients who use Invisalign for their orthodontic treatment are much less likely to have this problem because the removable Invisalign trays make it easy to maintain excellent oral hygiene during treatment.

White Spots After Teeth Whitening

If you notice white spots after getting a teeth whitening treatment, the whitening product is not to blame. The spots were already present on your teeth; the treatment just made them more noticeable. This effect often fades within a few days as the teeth rehydrate.

How to Correct White Spots on Teeth

In most cases, it is not necessary to get any specific treatment for the occasional white spot on your teeth. Assuming you eat a healthy diet and practice good oral hygiene, the enamel will naturally be strengthened and restored through a process called remineralization, as your saliva delivers calcium and other nutrients to the teeth. If you want to speed this process along some dentists suggest chewing sugarfree gum to stimulate saliva production.

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