Among early tooth decay symptoms there is one that can be quite ambiguous: white spots on the tooth enamel. What do they mean and are they always a sign of tooth decay?
If you have noticed a few white spots on your teeth (of course, it’s better to consult your dentist) — it can be a sign of demineralized tooth enamel as a result of bacterial attack. Such spots are a usual thing for people after orthodontic treatment. It is explained by extreme difficulties these people experience trying to remove the bacterial plaque, because of braces it’s not that easy to do that. In this case plaque accumulates closer to the gums.
Photo 1. White spots on teeth.
The cause of white spots in most cases in de-calcification because of plaque accumulation on the teeth enamel. It means that your tooth enamels lacks minerals, especially calcium. When the plaque isn’t removed by proper dental care it starts destroying your teeth. Bacterial plague is a rough film you can feel on your teeth already in the afternoon having brushed your teeth in the morning. Depending on how strong and healthy your enamel is, it may take time for demineralization to take place. But it is very likely to happen.
If you leave demineralization unattended, it may lead to serious consequences, such as a cavity, tooth destruction and serious complications. White spots are usually a sign of demineralization. The only thing to find it out — is to visit a dentist.
Photo 2. Dentist consultation.
Please, note that sometimes white spot lesions are a signal of tooth decay in its early stage, while in some cases white spots are harmless and the only thing they affect — is your psychological comfort. In this case they can be just a lesion of the tooth that has already remineralized again, so it won’t lead to any health troubles. There are lots of medications and procedures that can treat white spots, be they a sign of early dental caries or just a consequence of some other processes.
The best solution is to visit your dentist. The dentist will examine the tooth enamel containing white spots and if it is hard enough and there are no signs of progressing tooth decay — then a diet rich in minerals and low in sugars, and special toothpaste are prescribed for you to take care of this tiny defect at home.
If white spots are a sign of tooth demineralization — the dentist will place some kind of filling material to repair the tooth without drilling. Some fluoride gels or varnishes may be prescribed to reverse the decay, as fluoride is an essential mineral that helps to re-harden the tooth enamel. Nowadays there are plenty of ways and lots of professional medications to deal with tooth decay in the early stage.
Photo 3. Fluoride gels.
The main problem of dealing with white spots is actually leaving them unnoticed, as they bring no toothache or discomfort. Along with white spots, brown spots may appear on the tooth surface. Among some other signs of early dental caries there are:
Normally saliva helps in natural tooth remineralization, as it contains minerals and antibacterial agents, so it helps to maintain the right pH level in the mouth. In case the salivation is decreased because of some diseases or any other conditions — the dental health is at risk. To make sure your salivation is healthy and your saliva contains all necessary agents — you may have a laboratory test done. Consult your dentist if you want to learn more about that in your city.
Photo 4. Oral hygiene.
Oral hygiene is of great importance when dealing with tooth decay on the early stage. Regular tooth brushing and flossing will help to kill existing bacteria and limit their multiplication. There are certain groups of people who are at risk, when it comes to dental caries:
If you belong to at least one of these groups and have noticed any signs of early tooth decay — we strongly recommend visiting your dentist. To reverse the disease or prevent it dentist will tell you about right diet and prescribe special dental care products. In addition, dentists can seal deep grooves on your teeth and apply fluoride varnish to remineralize the enamel.
You should understand that preventing dental caries is a set of permanent measures, because it’s impossible to solve this problem once. It you fail to follow dentist’s recommendations, enamel decay can appear again and again. Healthy teeth are a result of right nutrition and proper hygiene. Of course, sometimes it has something to do with genetics, but healthy lifestyle and good habits are able to beat most of troubles connected with tooth decay. Stay healthy!