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What Are These White Spots on My Teeth?

face of beautiful woman showing her teeth We all want beautiful teeth, and there are a variety of ways to get your teeth white and bright, even after years of eating foods that stain teeth. But what if your teeth don’t have food stains but white spots that are lighter than the rest of the tooth? What are these spots, and should you see your dentist about them?

Do You Have White Lesions?

The technical name for these white spots is “white spot lesions,” and, yes, you may want to ask your dentist about them. These lesions can be caused by a few different things:

  • Your diet. Eating foods that are acidic or high in sugar can wear down your tooth enamel – the outer covering that helps to protect the inner layers of the tooth. Acid reflux (acid in the stomach, mouth, and throat) can also eat away at your tooth enamel. Besides white lesions, another sign that your tooth enamel is wearing away is sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks.
  • Enamel hypoplasia. In this condition, enamel becomes very thin or is missing altogether. It is caused by mineral loss due to nutritional deficiency, which can be a result of conditions such as celiac disease, or it can occur after taking certain antibiotics. It can also happen in children as a result of mom smoking while pregnant.
  • Plaque. Plaque can accumulate on teeth because of poor dental hygiene or as a side effect of wearing braces, which can make it difficult to thoroughly remove plaque. These white lesions are early cavities, so early treatment is important.
  • Fluorosis. We need fluoride for healthy, strong teeth, but too much at the wrong stage of tooth development is a bad thing. It can cause discoloration and spots on the tooth where the enamel is not hard enough to protect the tooth. Fluorosis happens before the age of 8 when permanent teeth are coming in, if children drink too many fluoridated beverages or if they often swallow fluoride toothpaste.

If you notice anything about your teeth or gums that just doesn’t seem right, contact Hampton Dental Associates. Call the office in Milwaukee at (414) 464-9021 today!

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