What are white spots on teeth? / What are white marks on teeth?
White spots or white marks aka. white spot lesions on teeth are an early sign of dental decay. In very simple terms the outer layer of the tooth known as the enamel is transparent. When the enamel thins in a location, the underlying white of the dentine shows through more than in other parts.
Why do you get white spots?
White spots can develop because of a number of reasons the most common of these are :
Acids and sugars:
Acids dissolve the minerals that make up the tooth’s enamel (outer coating, 98% calcium and phosphate). Acidic foods and drinks we consume and the acids created by bacteria on our teeth feeding on sugars we consume can erode our teeth. There is a natural equilibrium/repair process that replaces these minerals, but when there is an imbalance demineralisation occurs, and can lead to white spots, decay and ultimately cavities (what dentists call caries). This process may be reversed if the tooth has not cavitated.
Braces and orthodontics:
Braces making cleaning of teeth difficult, plaque can easily develop around the brackets that hold the braces in place. White spots / white marks have been found to develop in 50% orthodontic patients 1 in as little as 4 weeks 2. During orthodontics extra care is needed a good brush with a remineralising toothpaste can assist reduce or help avoid those white spots occuring.
Development defects (Hypocalcification):
Sometimes when the tooth is being formed insufficient calcium is deposited, this is known as a developmental defect, causes include trauma, illness, excess fluoride or medication consumed when the tooth was being developed inside the gums. Depending on the condition remineralising product may be able to assist.
Whitening treatments can cause demineralisation (loss of minerals) of the tooth’s enamel. This can result in a white spot where the enamel is thinned and more of the underlying white dentine shows through. Alternatively, the demineralised spot may have existed pre-whitening treatment and the treatment has made them more visible.
When too much fluoride is consumed when the permanent teeth are being formed fluorosis can occur and is visible as a white spot. The white spots form on permanent tooth may be treatable by a dentist and are generally seen as an aesthetic defect rather than a structural defect.
Fixing white spots may be as easy as changing your toothpaste
BioMinF and BioMinC have been shown# to assist with the repair of white spots lesions: their slow release mechanisms deliver essential minerals to the tooth’s surface, the availability of these essential minerals and fluoride in the case of BioMinF help drive the natural remineralisation process.
#Alhagmadi et al, BioMin can Remineralise White Spot Lesions Surrounding Orthodontic Brackets
How to remove white spots white marks on teeth
The use of a remineralising toothpaste is a common and proven method to treat many types (not all, eg fluorosis) of white spot / white marks on teeth. They work by using the tooth’s natural remineralisation (repair) process to replace the minerals (calcium and phosphate) lost during demineralisation process (when acids dissolve the minerals from the tooth’s enamel).
BioMin F and BioMin C are award-winning remineralising toothpaste that can significantly help speed up the removal of white spots / white marks from the enamel. Their unique slow release mechanisms deliver ongoing calcium and phosphate (for up to 12 hours) and drive the repair/remineralisation process. BioMinF and BioMinC can be used as everyday toothpaste to both prevent and repair white spots / white marks on teeth and early decay.
Please note: BioMinF and BioMinC’s performance with those who have developmental defects is being tested.
How long does it take to repair white spots white marks on teeth?
The repair (remineralisation) of white spots is a slow process. Researchers estimate that the average white spot can take 6 years to naturally repair, with only about a 30% success rate. BioMinF and BioMinC have been shown to significantly reduce white spots / white marks within months of commencement. Testing conducted at Queen Mary Unversity London, showed the rate of remineralisation of BioMinF to be greater than market leading supermarket and pharmacy brands.
There are many variables that affect the speed of repair including diet and size of the white spot.
Remineralisation rates: BioMin F outperforms significantly
Remineralisation rate: Mass gained (gcm-2Hr-1X10-5)
Data on file : Queen Mary University London