What You Should Know About Visible White Spots On Your Teeth

Dentist Articles

If your teeth have visible white spots despite your brushing and flossing efforts, you need to consult your dentist to determine the source. There are many potential causes of these white spots, and understanding those things can help you to more effectively address them as well as any underlying cause that may need attention.


Plaque that's not removed by timely brushing can harden and form tartar. The tartar deposits on your teeth often look like white spots. If the discoloration you're seeing is caused by tartar, you'll need to have a professional cleaning to get rid of it. Your dentist will likely use an ultrasonic device to do this. In cases of significant buildup, you may need to have a deep scaling and root planing. This removes any tartar that is built up around your gums. It also helps to reduce the inflammation that often causes gum disease. You'll get another thorough cleaning and polishing shortly after your gums heal from the scaling and root planing.

Excess Fluoride

If the white spots have always been there, one of the things that may have caused them is fluorosis, which is a condition caused by excess consumption of fluoride. The fluoride leaves chalky, white spots on the tooth surface because of the effect on tooth enamel.

In cases where the white spots are the result of fluoride exposure, you'll have to bleach the teeth to reduce the appearance. You'll never be able to completely eliminate the spots, though. For that reason, some cosmetic dentists recommend that you cover your teeth with veneers instead.

Thin Enamel

Sometimes, the enamel on your teeth forms in a very thin layer, which permits the dentin to show through. This leaves your teeth with the appearance of milky-white spots or yellowish flaws. This is typically a genetic or environmental development problem where the enamel just doesn't form correctly. Some dentists will suggest applying a resin or veneer to cover teeth with particularly thin enamel. You can bleach your teeth, but it must be done with a dentist's support, and if the enamel is too thin, he or she may discourage the process.

Calcium Spots

Plaque left on the teeth as a result of poor brushing, braces or other issues can develop bacteria. Sometimes, the acids released by this will draw calcium from the tooth, which leaves white spots on the surface of the tooth enamel.

Fluoride treatments and calcium supplements can help, but won't eliminate the spots. In many cases, you can bleach them, but you'll still need to have them watched carefully. Those deposits are often more prone to decay than the rest of your tooth, so they'll need to be checked regularly. Reduce the risk of additional tooth decay by scheduling dental cleanings more often and requesting fluoride treatments as necessary. Your dentist may even suggest that you apply veneers over the teeth if there is significant concern about the decay risk. Veneers will seal the surface of the tooth, forming a barrier to prevent damage.

Celiac Disease

Sometimes, white spots are an indication of a more serious health problem that isn't dental-related. For example, people with celiac disease can exhibit with many types of dental problems, including white spots on the tooth surface. In fact, the majority of patients with celiac disease have some form of a dental enamel problem, and some of those problems are the result of poor Vitamin D and calcium absorption due to the body's struggle with gluten. If you have any reason to suspect a gluten sensitivity in your family, talk with both your dentist and your primary care physician about this concern.

With so many different causes for white spots on your teeth, getting to the bottom of it can take some effort. Talk with a cosmetic dentist today at a clinic like Family Dentist to isolate the source of the problem. Then, you can address the root cause of the problem as well as address the visibility of the spots.


7 March 2016