Saturday, 6 February 2016

White Spots of Discoloration on Teeth

Tooth discoloration presents an obvious cosmetic issue. However, there are often issues underlying the color change that present a greater cause for concern. The appearance of white areas on the tooth may indicate the presence of a composite filling that has become recently exposed due to color chances in the natural tooth structure. In other circumstances, the discoloration may indicate tooth demineralization as a precursor to cavity formation. In either case, it is paramount that the root cause be identified to prevent any serious harm to the tooth.

Tooth Demineralization
Tooth demineralization describes the process of acidic depletion of the protective layer of the tooth known as the enamel, which is compromised of a myriad of minerals. The acid can be a by-product of plaque-harboring bacteria in the mouth or may directly originate from dietary choices.
Regardless, demineralization scatters the uniform, lustrous and transparent surface of the tooth with dull, rough and opaque white spots. These white spots on Teeth are often concentrated in plaque-dense areas, such as near the gum line. Orthodontic patients often present with these discolorations post-treatment in areas where their brackets were originally bonded.
Tooth demineralization marks the starting stages of cavity development. Unless the tooth is replenished through the following, the condition will likely worsen:
  • Use of fluoridated toothpaste and/or other specialized remineralization pastes at the recommendation of your dentist
  • An improved oral hygiene regimen consisting of brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups
  • More regulated intake of sugary foods

Developmental Disorders
Developmental problems can also be to blame for white discolorations on the teeth. Fluorosis, a condition characterized by high levels of fluoride intake that coincides with tooth eruption, is but one example. Depending on the severity of the condition, physical changes to the enamel may range from white spots and opaqueness to surface defects that increase stain retention. An important distinction between fluorosis and other sources of discoloration is that fluorosis affects the entire dental arch.
Enamel hypomineralization is another dental disorder that arises from developmental disturbance ranging from infantile tooth trauma to episodes of fever. Unlike fluorosis, areas of white discoloration are confined to a few teeth and there are no surface irregularities. Enamel hypoplasia, which can be caused by a similar factors, results in non-uniform development of enamel.
The overriding treatment goal should be to treat white discolorations in the least invasive way possible.
Tooth demineralization can be easily treated as described above or may require in-office treatment with microabrasion. The dentist will remove some surface enamel to expose the healthy enamel below. If the end outcome is not satisfactory, tooth bleaching can be employed to further eliminate the stains.
All other causes of white spots on the teeth can be successfully treated with a combination of microabrasion and tooth bleaching. Severe dental fluorosis or enamel hypoplasia is best treated with cosmetic treatments like porcelain veneers or dental bonding. The facial surface of the tooth is essentially covered with either porcelain or composite filling material to create a smooth, white and uniform surface. Restorations offer permanent whitening results and can restore an enamel-like barrier to the tooth, protecting against decay.
See a Dentist for Proper Diagnosis
As explained above, white spots on the teeth can arise due to a number of reasons, some more nefarious than others. A proper diagnosis is key to receiving proper treatment. You can mitigate unnecessary cost, wasted time and unsatisfactory results by working with a professional.

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