Noticing white streaks on your teeth can be disturbing because of the way they make your teeth look. These white streaks are a result of a condition called dental fluorosis. Fortunately, this condition is not something that is hazardous for your teeth. If the appearance of your teeth bothers you, visit a dentist to find out how you can get rid of it.
What Causes Dental Fluorosis?
Dental fluorosis is a condition that directly correlates to an over-consumption of fluoride. Here are several facts about dental fluorosis:
It only develops on teeth when they are inside the gums. If a person consumes too much fluoride before his or her permanent teeth are through the gums, dental fluorosis can occur. It cannot occur after the permanent teeth have come through.
It happens primarily to children under the age of 8. Adults already have their permanent teeth, whereas young children do not. If you have not developed this condition by the age of 8, you will probably never get it.
It occurs primarily from the misuse of products that contain fluoride. Dental fluorosis is usually caused by using too much toothpaste or mouthwash being ingested, or drinking fluoridated water. In some cases, it is caused by taking too many fluoride supplements or drinking too much water that contains fluoride.
It is not dangerous. Although teeth may look bad with this condition, dental fluorosis only affects the outer part of the teeth. It is not life-threatening, and it is usually left untreated.
What Does it Look Like?
Most reported cases of dental fluorosis are minor. A person with a minor case may notice faint white streaks or spots on his or her teeth. When the condition is severe, it may leave large white spots, pits, or even yellow or brown stains.
Visiting a dentist for an examination is the only way to know if you actually have this or not. Approximately 1 in 4 people in the U.S. have dental fluorosis, but 99% of the cases are minor and do not require treatment.
How is it Treated?
When a person wants the condition fixed, these are the options:
Tooth whitening services – whitening gels often have the ability to remove or reduce the stains caused by dental fluorosis. They may have to be used more than once, however.
Enamel microabrasion – This is a fairly non-invasive method of treating the tooths aesthetics. during this method of treatment, the dentist first subjects the tooth to some acid and then sands away a small layer of enamel off the outside of the tooth using a pumice.
Dental crowns, veneers, or bonding – with severe discoloration, covering the tooth is often the best remedy. Dentists do this with a dental crown or veneer or by adding a bonding material to the front of the tooth.