Are You Seeing Spots? What White Areas on Your Teeth Can Mean

You are between dental visits and suddenly, you spot some lighter than usual areas on your teeth. These lightened areas can be caused by several things – some minor and some not. It's important to understand that they could be signs of serious dental disorders. To learn more about this form of tooth discoloration, read on.

Gum Disease Might Be the Culprit

As you eat and drink, acids can form in your mouth. These acids can combine with bacteria and form plaque – a sticky substance that clings to your teeth. Plaque, if not removed during a cleaning visit, can turn into gum disorders like gingivitis, abscesses, and more. It can also signal a loss of important minerals that teeth need to remain healthy and of uniform color. If you notice white spots, you may also be suffering from a gum disorder and you might not notice any other signs of the problem. Of course, gum disease is a more serious problem than an appearance issue. It can even lead to the deterioration of the underlying jawbone.

White Spots Might Be an Early Sign of Decay

White spot lesions can be a forerunner of a decayed tooth. When decay is involved, the spots can appear chalky in appearance though small and difficult to notice for most. Let the white spot be a red flag that it's time to make an appointment and have your dentist check your teeth for cavities.

Will They Go Away?

Unfortunately, some white spots can remain even after your dentist has identified and treated the cause of them. In most cases, the spots are part of the tooth and cannot be removed. They may fade in time, however. If the spots are obvious and affect only select areas, speak to your dentist about using an abrasive procedure to polish them away. That might make them less noticeable. However, some spots can signal permanent damage to your tooth enamel. When that happens, you must protect your teeth by adding a crown. If the problem is mainly cosmetic and the appearance causes you embarrassment, consider having veneers applied to hide the spots.

It's extremely important to treat gum diseases and decay before they domino into far more serious issues. You might want to be grateful for the white spots if they prompted you to seek help before greater harm was done. To find out more about white spots, gum disorders, and tooth decay, speak to your dentist.