It's only natural to examine your teeth closely when you brush and floss. Doing so can ensure you get your teeth clean and that you spot issues early on. When the issue you spot is white spots, it's easy to panic. Read to find out what these white areas on your teeth could mean and how to cope with them.
Bacteria Could Be the Culprit
While a certain level of bacteria in the mouth is common and, in most cases, harmless, too much of that stuff can create problems with both your teeth and gums. In some cases, a white spot or area on the enamel of your teeth will indicate that bacteria have made a headway into your gum area and caused a gum disease.
It all begins with sweet, carbohydrate-filled food and drinks. As these foods increase, so does the acid level in your mouth. That, in turn, creates conditions perfect for bacteria growth which then can give way to a sticky substance called plaque which is not easy to remove from the teeth. It also tends to leach minerals from the teeth and that shows up as white discolorations on your enamel.
Unfortunately, the white spots might be the least of your worries because gum diseases can also destroy the underlying bone structure in your jaw. Sagging jaws and the inability to support corrective measures like dental implants can be negatively affected by eroded bone density. See your dentist immediately and address gum diseases aggressively and quickly to prevent those permanent problems from occurring.
Decay Might Also be the Culprit
While spots might be a precursor to a cavity too. White spot lesions appear chalky in appearance. They could also be very small and hard to spot. Often, in this case, the lesion is the first outward sign of decay inside a tooth. Take quick action and have your dentist evaluate the tooth. The decay must be removed, and then restorative actions can make the tooth look perfect again. For example, a cap (or crown) can be placed to match the shape and color of your surrounding teeth perfectly.
Some cases of white spots have no known cause. Once your dentist checks for decay and gum diseases, you can discuss how to cope with the spots. Depending on how widespread the issue is, polishing and tooth bleaching could help. If the spots are widespread, a cap or veneer might be the best way to approach the issue. Speak to your dentist to find out more.