White Spots on Teeth

Sometimes the patients complain of white spots on their front teeth. Such condition may be hereditary but most of the times are due to some other factors that we will discuss in this article.

The white spots on the teeth are mainly a cosmetic issue but should be taken under serious consideration because it may be an early sign of initial tooth decay. The white spots are usually a result of enamel demineralization. This is how the caries begins – the acids from the bacteria that reside in the mouth and the acids from the food cause this loss of minerals. If the ph stays lower than 5.5 there is no balance between the demineralization and remineralization and loss of minerals is at place. This process can be seen on the tooth as opaque areas.  These opaque areas have a white color and people complain of “white spots on their teeth”.

Having such hypocalcified spots does not mean that the patient’s hygiene is bad, sometimes can be caused by other factors like wearing braces for a long time. In these cases the hygiene is hard to be improved due to this plaque retention factor.  The mineral loss can be caused by consuming too much acidic foods (citric fruits, drinking juices with low ph). People do not realize how acidic some foods may be. Let’s take for example Coca Cola. While drinking it you feel the sweet taste but that does not mean that it does not contain acidic components. As a matter of fact such juices and drinks are the most dangerous for the enamel, you feel they are sweet but they contain a huge amount of acids and sugar at the same time. Keep in mind that the cariogenic bacteria in the mouth use simple sugars for living and their final metabolic product are acids. In this way acids are delivered by the juice itself and from the bacterial terminal products of metabolism. These demineralized areas can be restored if the ph is raised over 6.5 ph.

The white spots can also be a result of hereditary conditions such as enamel and dentine hypoplasia. The mineralization of the tooth tissue is lower than usual but that is not a consequence of acidic foods or poor hygiene but other factors we will discuss later on.