Have you noticed chalky or creamy white spots on your teeth? You may feel frustrated that these stains do not go away with your typical oral hygiene routine. But your smile could also be suffering major structural problems.
These white spots could mean that you have hypocalcification, or calcium loss, in your teeth. This can point to a deterioration in the enamel, or the surface of your teeth. Read on to learn more about this dental damage and how your dentist will address it.
Why Do I Have White Discoloration on My Smile?
White spots on your teeth can occur if calcium has deteriorated in your teeth in a condition called hypocalcification. Calcium is a major part of the hard outer layer of your teeth called enamel. This acts as a shield to the vulnerable interior of your teeth.
If you have lost calcium in your teeth, this means that your enamel has weakened. It manifests in the white discoloration in your teeth, a sign that your durable enamel has become soft. Not only does this impact the look of your smile, but it means that your teeth have lost some of the material they need to preserve the structure and health of your smile.
How Will My Dentist Treat Hypocalcification?
If you notice signs of hypocalcification, let your dentist know as soon as you can. Prompt treatment for this dental problem can prevent cavities and other issues from forming in your teeth.
Your dentist may first suggest lifestyle changes, including limiting sugary or acidic foods in your diet. These food items can lead to erosion of the enamel, encouraging harm to your teeth. They will also recommend using oral hygiene products that contain fluoride which will fortify your enamel and prevent further damage.
Specialized fluoride treatments may encourage the reformation of calcium in your teeth, but sometimes this damage cannot be reversed. In these cases, your dentist can offer restorative dental solutions to rebuild the structure of the tooth. A dental crown can cover a damaged tooth, replacing the worn enamel and offering protection to the interior layers of the tooth.
Patients may also seek cosmetic solutions to get rid of stains on their teeth. For these individuals, dentists can provide porcelain veneers, which can also replace thinned enamel on the front of their teeth. They may also benefit from teeth bonding or targeted whitening treatments.
How Can I Prevent This Dental Damage?
Keeping your smile healthy and your enamel strong begins with good oral hygiene habits. Plaque forms from natural bacteria in your mouth and can eat away at your tooth enamel.
We remove plaque promptly with a proper oral hygiene regimen. This includes brushing your teeth twice each day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for regular teeth cleanings. If your tooth enamel needs a boost, you can rinse with a mouthwash that contains fluoride.
Some patients may be more prone to this condition for genetic reasons. In this case, you should consult with your dentist for ways to protect your smile and preserve the calcium in your teeth.