Why do I have white spots on my teeth? We’re sure that you might also be wondering about this question if you have noticed odd white spots on your pearly whites. 

Well, several factors can lead to the development of these spots on your teeth. However, it’s important to note that in most cases, these spots are not a cause for concern.

We will explore the common reasons behind white spots, methods of treatment, and effective preventive measures.

White Spots on Teeth — What Do They Mean?

White spots on teeth represent a type of discoloration that manifests as a noticeable contrast in shade compared to the surrounding tooth color. While these spots are generally not harmful to your dental health, they can occasionally serve as an early indicator of potential tooth decay. Consequently, scheduling a dental check-up with the dentists at Valley Ridge Dental is crucial to receiving appropriate advice and guidance.

Why Do I Have White Spots on My Teeth? — Causes

Why Do I Have White Spots on My Teeth

Before embarking on a journey to treat those elusive white spots on your teeth, it’s crucial to understand “Why do I have white spots on my teeth?” Addressing the root cause in collaboration with your dental health provider can pave the way for effective treatment and, ideally, the reversal of white spots.

Fluoride Overexposure

While fluoride is renowned for fortifying tooth enamel and combating cavities, excessive exposure can lead to adverse effects, such as dental fluorosis. This condition manifests as white spots on teeth. It’s particularly prevalent in children whose developing teeth are more susceptible.

Mouth Breathing During Sleep

If you wake up to temporary white spots on your teeth that vanish as the day progresses, dehydration due to mouth breathing during sleep may be the culprit. Mouth breathing, often associated with sleep apnea, can have various adverse effects, including these fleeting white spots.

Poor Oral Hygiene Practices

Inadequate oral hygiene, characterized by plaque buildup from improper or infrequent brushing and flossing, can result in white spots on your teeth. This buildup may eventually lead to cavities. Early tooth decay, a potential cause of white spots, is reversible with a healthy diet and consistent oral hygiene practices.

Post-Braces Challenges

Wearing braces can contribute to the development of white spots, often unnoticed until the braces are removed. Inaccessible areas around the brackets may accumulate plaque, causing demineralization and the appearance of white spots.

Impact of Diet

The consumption of acidic foods and beverages can lead to white spots on your teeth. These highly acidic items wear down the dental enamel, creating discolored spots compared to the surrounding teeth. 

Be wary of acidic culprits like citrus, soda, processed foods, and grains. Foods triggering acid reflux can also harm your teeth. While sugar isn’t acidic, it contributes to bacterial plaque formation, leading to acid excretion and enamel erosion.

Enamel Hypoplasia

Enamel hypoplasia, a dental defect often rooted in genetics or early childhood factors, involves having less dental enamel than average. This condition may manifest as white spots, grooves, pits, tooth sensitivity, and yellow-brown stains. While there’s no cure for enamel hypoplasia, numerous dental treatments can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your teeth and alleviate tooth sensitivity.

Treatment of White Spots on Teeth

Treatment of White Spots on Teeth

There are various treatment alternatives for dealing with white spots on the teeth, and the selection of a particular treatment depends on the root cause of the spots and the overall condition of an individual’s teeth.

Enamel Microabrasion

Enamel microabrasion is a potential solution for those seeking to diminish the appearance of white spots. In this procedure, a dentist delicately removes a small amount of enamel from the teeth, effectively reducing the visibility of white spots. Typically, this professional treatment is complemented by teeth bleaching, enhancing the overall uniformity of tooth color.

Teeth Whitening or Bleaching

Whitening or bleaching the teeth is an effective method to minimize the appearance of white spots and other stains. Teeth whitening products, including strips and pastes, are readily available. Additionally, individuals can purchase these products online. For more potent results, professional whitening treatments from a dentist may be sought, utilizing stronger bleaching solutions than their OTC counterparts.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers, thin protective coverings affixed to the front surface of teeth, are a highly effective means of concealing white spots and other imperfections. Exclusively available through dentists and requiring professional fitting, dental veneers may be a pricier option but offer exceptional results.

Topical Fluoride

Topical fluoride application by a dentist is a targeted approach for individuals with enamel hypoplasia. This procedure promotes the growth of enamel on the teeth, helping to prevent tooth decay.

Composite Resin

When enamel hypoplasia is present, dentists might use composite resin to fill cavities and adhere it to the outer layer of the teeth. However, this may not be the most suitable option for individuals with many white spots on their teeth.

Preventing White Spots on Teeth

Preventing White Spots on Teeth

Now that you know the answer to the question, “Why do I have white spots on my teeth?” it is time to find out how to prevent them from appearing on your teeth. 

Preventing white spots on teeth involves more than just good oral hygiene. While maintaining excellent dental care practices is fundamental, there are additional strategies to safeguard your smile.

Opt for Fluoride-Free Water

Choose fluoride-free water or consult experts to ensure acceptable fluoride levels in your tap water or wells. This proactive step can contribute to preventing enamel issues that lead to white spots.

Supervise Children’s Tooth Brushing

Assist children, especially those under six, with their tooth brushing routine. Ensure they use the appropriate amount of toothpaste (no more than a pea-sized amount) and teach them not to swallow toothpaste to mitigate potential enamel problems.

Moderate Sugary & Acidic Intake

Cut down on sugary and acidic foods and drinks like citrus fruits, juices, candies, and sodas. Enjoy them in moderation to protect your enamel and reduce the likelihood of white spots on your teeth.

Thoroughly Clean Braces

If you wear braces, pay extra attention to cleaning around the brackets and wires. The presence of orthodontic appliances creates areas prone to plaque buildup, which can lead to white marks on teeth. Regular and meticulous cleaning is crucial.

Discuss Medications with Your Doctor

Discussing potential impacts on tooth development with your doctor is essential for expectant mothers and individuals taking medications. Certain medicines can affect dental health, and awareness of these risks allows for informed decision-making.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is detrimental to overall health and can contribute to the development of white stains on teeth. Quitting smoking is a proactive measure to preserve the health and appearance of your teeth.

Valley Ridge Dental in Lake Elmo, MN

At Valley Ridge Dental, our proficient team of dentists, Dr. Katie Daniels and Dr. James Betz possess the expertise to identify the root cause of the white spots on your teeth. 

Understanding “Why do I have white spots on my teeth?” is crucial for initiating effective treatment and preventive measures. Our team provides exceptional care, whether you’re contemplating dental veneers or teeth whitening. Please call (651) 439-0322 or visit our clinic at Lake Elmo to schedule an appointment.


Are calcium deposits on teeth bad?

Accumulated calcium deposits threaten your dental health, as they can attract harmful bacteria and, more significantly, contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Beyond discoloration, these deposits weaken your teeth, making them susceptible to cavities or breakage.

Can yellow teeth ever be white again?

Various methods are available to brighten your teeth if they appear yellow or have already undergone discoloration. These options encompass a combination of over-the-counter toothpaste, home-based whitening products, and, when necessary, professional mechanical plaque removal performed by a dentist or hygienist.

Can dentists remove calcium spots?

Your dentist or dental hygienist might utilize a scaler and curette, two instruments designed to eliminate calcium deposits or tartar from your teeth. Since these deposits are more resilient than the daily film that forms on your teeth, regular brushing alone is insufficient for their removal.