Teeth discolouration and various dental problems that might cause them

White spots or discoloration on the teeth can be caused by numerous factors like illnesses and infections, vitamin deficiencies, etc.

White spots or discoloration on the teeth can be caused by numerous factors. This can include illnesses and infections, vitamin deficiencies, excess fluoride, and even trauma to the tooth. In many instances, these white spots are not hazardous to the health of your teeth, but teeth discolouration may make you may feel self-conscious. Dentists can examine your white spots and tooth discoloration in order to determine the best way to improve the appearance of your teeth.

Here are some common causes of teeth discoloration:

Demineralization or decalcification

Decalcification, in general, refers to the reduction and eventual elimination of critical minerals from calcified structures in your body. The most common parts of the body that suffer decalcification are your bones, cartilage, and teeth. This process is often subtle, gradual, and can affect anyone.

Take a look at your teeth in the mirror. Do you notice any white spots on them? Or perhaps you’ve seen little white spots on your children’s teeth. These spots are caused by decalcification. Tooth decalcification means that the vital minerals needed to keep teeth healthy and repair themselves are being stripped away for one reason or another. This is a major reason for teeth discolouration.

The enamel that protects your teeth from daily wear and tear consists of several different minerals, most notably calcium and phosphorus. The onset of decalcification will weaken the enamel of your teeth — producing a series of white spots. You may be doing several things to contribute to the decalcification of your teeth. If the cause of decalcification is not pinpointed and stopped, this process can become worse and worse — leading to cavities and tooth decay if left untreated.

There are several common ways decalcification can affect your teeth. Some factors include the concentration of plaque (and decalcifying agents), temperature and types of food and drink, and the continual agitation/scraping of teeth. If you notice signs of decalcification (white spots on your teeth), you must first determine the cause(s) to understand how to reduce or stop it.

Enamel Hypoplasia

Enamel is the hard, protective outer layer of your teeth. Enamel hypoplasia is a defect of the enamel that only occurs while teeth are still developing. Still, it can affect both baby teeth and permanent teeth. The condition results in thin enamel, which makes your teeth vulnerable to dental decay. The visual signs of enamel hypoplasia include white spots, pits, and grooves on the outer surface of the teeth. It is also called Turner’s tooth.

Pits, tiny groves, depressions, and fissures, white spots, yellowish-brown stains (where the underlying layer of dentin is exposed), sensitivity to heat and cold food, etc., are some of the tell-tale signs of enamel hypoplasia. These cause teeth discolouration.

Defective enamel development can be the result of an inherited condition called amelogenesis imperfecta, or congenital enamel hypoplasia, which is estimated to affect about 1 in 14,000 people in the United States. This condition can also cause unusually small teeth and a variety of dental problems. Congenital enamel hypoplasia can happen alone or as part of a syndrome affecting other parts of the body.

Fluorosis

Fluorosis is a cosmetic dental condition that’s characterized by white or brown spots on your teeth. These spots can range from tiny white flecks that are almost unnoticeable to dark brown patches that are clearly visible.

Dental fluorosis affects people who were overexposed to fluoride during their developmental years, before their permanent (adult) teeth grew in. Children aged 8 or younger are at risk for developing fluorosis. Teeth that have already erupted (grown in) can’t get fluorosis.

Mild fluorosis is quite common, affecting about 1 in every 4 Americans between the ages of 6 and 49. Moderate to severe fluorosis is far less common in the U.S.Dental fluorosis has no impact on oral health or function. In fact, people with fluorosis are actually more resistant to cavities. This discovery is what prompted health officials to introduce fluoride into public water supplies at a safe level. This means that public water supplies would have enough fluoride to help prevent tooth decay, but not enough to cause fluorosis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water is the recommended level. Tooth discoloration is the only symptom of fluorosis. Discoloration can vary depending on the severity of your condition.

In mild cases, teeth discoloration can be so slight that no one but your dentist would notice. But if fluorosis is having a negative impact on your confidence or self-esteem, cosmetic dental treatments can help.

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