Decalcification also called white spot lesions are bright white areas that appear on your teeth. Generally, this is an area of calcium deficiency in the enamel of your tooth. It can be caused several different ways and if not treated, the deficiency can break through your enamel into the softer dentin layer of your tooth and cause decay. Some causes of decalcification are:
Acidic food or drinks such as soda, energy drinks, sugary sports drinks, lemons, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, acidic grains.
Minimize dry mouth. Your saliva helps to protect your teeth and without it, it is easier for decalcification to occur. Medications, cancer treatment, different disease, tobacco use, and mouth breathing can all cause dry mouth.
Improper home care. The sticky plaque that forms on your teeth has bacteria in it that deposits an acid by-product on your teeth. If the plaque is not removed, the acid weakens the enamel and leeches the calcium from your teeth. This can lead to decay. Individuals that wear braces are especially susceptible to white spot lesions.
There are several ways to prevent decalcification. Good home care, proper nutrition, drinking water, and xylitol in gums or candies are just a few. Fluoride treatments at your dentist can also help to remineralize the weakened enamel. Here at Aspen Dental of Cache Valley we also provide additional painless treatments that fill and strengthen the weakened lesion. If you notice that you have white spots and are concerned about them, please call and schedule a visit with us and we would love to help! (435) 753-5166.
Kelda Frazier RDH