White Spot Removal in Missoula, MT
Do you have white spots on the surface of your tooth that are hard not to notice?
Visible white spots on your teeth can range from small and inconspicuous to embarrassing and highly noticeable. If your white spots keep you from enjoying your smile and showing off your beautiful teeth, you may be interested in white spot removal at Nelson Dentistry.
The good news for our Missoula patients is that any and all dental issues are fixable. There are always a number of oral procedures that Dr. Nelson can recommend to keep your smile dazzling and healthy.
- What Are White Spots?
- What Causes White Spots?
- How We Treat White Spots
- Preventing White Spots
- Don't Let Your White Spots Stop You
What Are White Spots?
White spots are typically composed of demineralized enamel; most frequently, this is caused by smooth tooth surfaces that are not properly brushed and cleaned for long periods of time. Many patients find that white spots often occur when wearing braces, or along the gumline in children before their teeth fully erupt.
Missoula patients who have white spots and are interested in their treatment options, or how to avoid them, should call Nelson Dentistry to schedule a dental cleaning and examination. Dr. Jonathan Nelson is always available for any oral health questions, concerns, or dental tips.
What Causes White Spots?
When enamel is demineralized and porous, it reflects light differently. This gives a white matte appearance to these spots. Sometimes these spots can be stable and not continue breaking down, especially when oral hygiene improves; fluoride can help to remineralize the surface with a protective fluorapatite layer. Some spots merely require cosmetic enhancement, while other spots indicate poor oral health and may need dental improvement.
If you have questions about white spots and would like to learn more about what causes them, feel free to ask Dr. Jonathan Nelson during your dental check-up and examination. Common causes for white spots are:
- Dental fluorosis—This often happens in youth when large quantities of fluoride are ingested during critical tooth development and formation. Fluorosis can occur through excessive use of fluoridated water, consuming certain supplements, or swallowing fluoride toothpaste. While proper amounts of fluoride help prevent tooth decay, too much can cause enamel discoloration. This condition is not a reflection on oral health and often occurs before adult teeth break through the gum line.
- Enamel hypoplasia—Like dental fluorosis, hypoplasia often occurs during childhood during tooth development. This condition happens when the enamel does not form correctly and can increase the risk of tooth decay. Hypoplasia can occur due to nutritional deficiencies, illness, and trauma, prenatal smoking, or premature birth. This condition can appear similar to fluorosis but appears more striated.
- Demineralization—When plaque accumulates on teeth, often due to poor dental hygiene, this can lead to demineralization and decalcification. This condition is prevalent with traditional metal braces that are difficult to clean around. High consumption of acidic or sugary foods can also lead to white spotting. This condition can lead to tooth decay if not looked after.
- Poor Nutrition—Sometimes, white spots can be related to your diet and nutrition. Some conditions like celiac disease can lead to malabsorption that can affect the surface of your enamel. When the body no longer absorbs healthy nutrients, it can no longer create healthy enamel. Deficiencies in minerals can also cause unhealthy enamel development, along with a lack of vitamins and proteins. The body cannot produce mineral-rich enamel if it lacks the necessary building blocks. Diet and nutrition remain essential to keep your teeth, gums, and enamel healthy and spot-free. A diet composed of highly acidic and sugary concentrations can strip away healthy enamel and leave white spots.
- Illness—Fever caused by bacterial or viral infections can be related to enamel hypoplasia. High fever can deplete calcium and minerals from the enamel, especially in children. It's always essential to maintain proper hydration, nutrition, and oral hygiene during illness to prevent any enamel damage. Medications can also cause white spots on teeth; some antibiotics can cause unwanted side effects and are not recommended for children or pregnant women.
How We Treat White Spots
At Nelson Dentistry in Missoula, MT, Dr. Nelson treats white spots with a technique known as Resin Infiltration. This is an innovative treatment for patients with naturally sensitive teeth; there is rarely drilling required in this non-invasive dental procedure.
Dr. Nelson prepares the tooth by cleaning it with an etch gel followed by a high-flow tooth-colored resin, which is absorbed into the white spot and then cured with a special UV reactive light. When natural light reflects off of the enamel surface, the white spot is no longer visible.
Proper at-home oral health hygiene can help prevent white spots. Regular brushing with a remineralizing and flossing can help prevent white spots and improve mild cases. Patients who have white spots should maintain good oral health habits to prevent white spots from getting worse and new ones from occurring.
At Nelson Dentistry, preventive dentistry is of utmost importance in preventing significant dental problems and minimizing current oral health issues. Maintaining regular dental check-ups with Dr. Nelson can prevent the occurrence of white spots.
Missoula patients who currently have white spots can get cosmetic treatment to remove the spots and maintain a dazzling smile. If you think this dental procedure could help you, call us at (406) 542-3305 and talk with our excellent dental team!
Preventing White Spots
There are several common reasons why white spots occur, ranging from oral hygiene to trauma or illness. At Nelson Dentistry, we recommend maintaining proper and diligent at-home care, including regular brushing and flossing along with dental cleanings.
It is also important to note the following:
- Pregnant women should always consult with their dentist or obstetrician before fluoride intake or any medications that may affect their child’s developing teeth.
- Smokers should consider quitting to prevent the development of white spots or tooth decay.
- Children under the age of six are most at risk of developing white spots during tooth development and should be observed by parents to ensure only pea-sized amounts of fluoride toothpaste are utilized and not swallowed.
- Check to see if your tap water is fluoridated and inspect the levels, Dr. Nelson can discuss any need for fluoride supplements. Many drinks like bottled water, sodas, and foods may contain fluoride as well.
- For patients who wear braces, it’s essential to brush and floss around the wires and brackets in order to reduce the risk of white spots.
If you have any questions concerning white spots, please call our helpful dental team so we can provide tips and suggestions.
Don't Let Your White Spots Stop You
If you have white spots, don’t let them stop you from smiling. Dr. Nelson at Nelson Dentistry can help you erase white spots and keep your smile healthy and beautiful.
While at-home oral healthy can prevent the development of white spots and further enamel deterioration, only your Missoula dentist can adequately treat white spots using tooth-colored resin filling. The entire procedure can be done in one dental appointment and immediately improve your smile.
For more severe cases, porcelain veneers can cover the entire surface of the tooth completely. During your initial dental consultation, Dr. Nelson will determine the best dental option for your oral health and appearance.
Give our Missoula dental office a call at (406) 542-3305 to schedule your dental check-up and examination today.