Monthly Archives: July 2016

White Spots on Teeth Tips

Everybody longs for having magnificent white teeth. Albeit dark spots on teeth are sufficiently distressful as it seems to be, something that a large portion of us would similarly not make due with are white spots. They can frequently be an exceptionally exasperating and unattractive view, as they blemish the individual’s grin, as well as his/her certainty. While a great many people may see that they have white spots on their teeth ideal from the time they started to emit into the oral cavity, a few people may have seen the nearness of these spots just as of late. The planning of perceivability (i.e., whether this staining was available during childbirth or if it’s sprung up just as of late) extraordinarily helps in diagnosing the condition. Given underneath are the causes and treatment choices to manage this issue.

Causes

  • Fluorosis:
    Fluorosis is by far the most common cause of white spots on teeth. It is a condition where the amount of fluoride reaches such a high amount in the body that it affects teeth and other parts of the skeletal system. The main source of fluoride is drinking water, though it normally occurs when the amount of fluoride in the water being consumed is more than 1ppm (parts per million). Dental fluorosis causes hypomineralization of the tooth enamel, which leads to staining. Though only the initial stages of fluorosis cause white spots, if fluoride ingestion levels are not brought under control, it can lead to skeletal fluorosis, which is a much more serious condition.
  • Fresh Cavities:
    One of the most common causes for these spots is tooth decay. In the initial stages of dental caries, the lesion is well a demarcated chalky-white opacity, without any loss of continuity of the enamel. That is, the surface looks discolored as white spots, but there is no breakage on the surface. Enamel, though the hardest structure in the human body, is semi-porous in nature, and hence there is increased permeability of enamel and susceptibility to caries. Such white spots mostly appear on the front teeth, near the inter-dental wall.
  • Dental Plaque:
    Dental plaque is commonly mistaken as a white spot on tooth. It is the microfilm that is present on the surface of teeth. Sometimes, there may also be food particles on the surface of teeth that may be mistaken for white spots. Hence, always brush your teeth, or at least rinse them properly, before reaching the diagnosis of white spots.
  • Enamel Hypoplasia:
    A condition that seriously affects dental health, enamel hypoplasia is a condition where the tooth enamel is incompletely developed in thickness and in quality. It occurs due to defective enamel matrix formation during the development of teeth. It leads to white spots, breakdown of occlusal surface, and eventually the presence of other stains on teeth.
  • Amelogenesis imperfecta:
    Amelogenesis imperfecta is a group of rare hereditary diseases that affect enamel formation. It causes production of abnormal enamel, although the dentin and cementum are normal. This problem can strike at any of the three stages of enamel formation; enamel matrix formation, early mineralization, or enamel maturation. Thus, it can be of hypoplastic type, hypocalcification type, or hypomaturation type. This condition leads to white spots on teeth, as the enamel looks white and flaky. Also, there is often chipping of the incisal edges and discoloration of cusps and tips of teeth, which gives them a snow-capped appearance.
  • Other Causes:
    Other causes include aggressive pin point brushing and excessive intake of sodas, especially when taken with a straw, as it leads to decalcification of the tooth structure in that region.

Treatment

The treatment will depend on the disorder causing the problem. If the discoloration is due to fluorosis, then the person should immediately stop ingesting water containing high levels of fluorides, and switch to water that has less than or equal to 1ppm of fluorides. Similarly, if there are white spots due to incipient cavities or accumulation of plaque, then the person should get cleaning done and should also get those teeth filled. In most of these cases, teeth bleaching is not a very good idea, as the discoloration on the tooth is already in the form of white spots. Additionally, it is a lot more difficult to treat anomalies like enamel hypoplasia and amelogenesis imperfecta, as the tooth structure is too weak to support the fillings.

Thus, white spots on teeth can be a bit disturbing and difficult to deal with. However, with some basic dental care and depending on the underlying cause, the dentist will chalk out a treatment plan to best deal with this unsightly discoloration.

Stains on Teeth

Teeth stains are an exceptionally normal dental issue, which is stylishly unappealing, and it could be a side effect of other wellbeing conditions. This article discusses the diverse causes and techniques for treatment to manage this issue.

The formation of stains on teeth is a problem that is faced by more or less every person at some time or the other. Even people who claim to have impeccable dental health, often fall victim to discoloration. This problem can be of two types, that is, intrinsic and extrinsic staining.

Intrinsic Staining Causes
Intrinsic staining is when the cause is an internal factor, i.e., the stains are not merely on the surface of the tooth.

Caries and Tooth Decay
Dental caries, or as it is commonly called, tooth decay, leads to intrinsic staining, which causes black spots on the teeth. Tooth decay causes damage to the enamel and the general tooth structure, and one of the initial cavity symptoms is black discoloration on the surface of the tooth. This is because the decay is caused by chromogenic bacteria, especially the Actinomyces species which produce hydrogen sulfide. The sulfide reacts with the saliva to produce ferric sulfide, which is visible as black spots on teeth. Sometimes, the discoloration, may actually be internal, but it can be mistaken for black spots, as is seen in a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment. Even a chipped tooth, or any kind of severe trauma to the tooth may lead to necrosis (death) of the pulp, which may be wrongly diagnosed as black spots on teeth.

Fluorosis
Fluorosis is a condition where stains are seen due to drinking water that has very high fluoride levels. This water usually has more than 1ppm (part per million) of fluoride content, which causes white stains on teeth, along with flaking. If the level of fluoride is not brought down, the teeth start mottling, and there is brown staining seen, with progressive degeneration of the tooth structure.

Side Effects of Drugs
Sometimes, an expectant mother may suffer from an infection, due to which she needs to take certain drugs, which have the side effect of causing black spots on teeth. One such notorious drug is tetracycline. Ingestion of tetracycline impairs the fetal dental development, and causes intrinsic dental staining, which is seen as black spots.

Dental Restorations
Sometimes, amalgam restorations can also cause intrinsic staining, which occurs when their corrosion products leak, causing stains on teeth, especially around or near the gingival margins. The corrosion products produce a grey-black hue around the silver filling. Sometimes, the stains may even appear in cases of long standing tooth colored restorations, like stained composite binding restorations etc.

Hereditary Abnormalities
There are certain hereditary abnormalities, like dentinogenesis imperfecta and amelogenesis imperfecta, where the tooth structure is weak right from birth, due to ill-formed enamel or dentin. Due to the fragility of the tooth structure, there is increased susceptibility to flaking and staining. Although this condition is relatively rare, it is a very difficult disorder to treat, and involves a very long-drawn treatment plan.

Extrinsic Staining Causes
Extrinsic staining is when there is stains on the surface of the teeth due to an external factor, which makes such cases relatively easier to treat.

Caffeine
Caffeine and its related products, lead to teeth stains. Coffee and tea, especially coffee, have high levels of caffeine. The plaque layer that is present on the surface of the teeth gets stained while drinking coffee, which leads to extrinsic coffee stains, that can be treated easily. However, sometimes, people that are addicted to caffeine products, like tea, may get tea stains on teeth over a long period of time, which is more difficult to treat. People that have had tooth colored restorations done, especially on their front teeth, are at greater risk.

Smoking and Tobacco Chewing
Smoking and chewing tobacco causes the staining of teeth in the same manner as that of coffee and other caffeine products. Chewing tobacco causes many side effects, like burning in mouth, attrition of teeth and staining.

Medication Side Effects
Intake of certain drugs, like excessive intake of liquid iron supplements, which are often prescribed to anemic patients, leads to extrinsic staining, which manifests as black spots on the teeth. This is because the metallic compounds interact with the dental plaque present on the surface of the teeth, leading to staining. It maybe a result of an occupational hazard, as it is also seen in cases of people that are excessively exposed to industrial iron, silver and manganese. Even excessive use of certain mouthwashes, like mouthwashes that contain silver nitrate or potassium permanganate, can also cause black spots.

Intrinsic Staining Treatment
The treatment of intrinsic staining is not easy, as the cause is quite complicated and nearly irreversible. For people who have staining due to caries, the decayed portion can easily be removed and replaced with a filling. However, for cases where the staining is due to a very old root canal treated tooth, bleaching could be of help. For fluorosis and other hereditary problems, a long and detailed treatment plan needs to be chalked out, as it varies from case to case.

Extrinsic Staining Treatment
Getting rid of stains when it comes to extrinsic staining is relatively easier. The person will need to go to the dentist and get a proper clean up done of his teeth. The stubborn stains may require ultrasonic scaling. However, for all those caffeine addicts, the intake of coffee and tea will have to be cut down, so as to assure that the problem does not recur, nor aggravate.

Thus, the intrinsic and extrinsic tooth staining problem has baffled dental practitioners all over the world. However, with regular dental care and routine dental check-ups, such problems and their complications can be kept at bay.

Dental Floss Threader

As per dental science, flossing is a vital piece of dental care and cleanliness. Truth be told, numerous dental specialists propose that one ought to floss in any event once every day, for good wellbeing of the teeth and gums. General flossing benefits your teeth by forestalling pits, awful breath, gum maladies, and numerous other dental issues. It additionally evacuates sustenance residuals and bacterial plaque from teeth and gums.

  • Braces and other dental appliances make great breeding grounds for bacteria and other microorganisms, and flossing regularly can help bring down the development of plaque and other unpleasant dental conditions. However, flossing can be difficult, especially for people who have braces, bridges, dental implants, and permanent retainers that block the gums and teeth, which are very close to each other. Under such conditions, a floss threader should be used, as it allows proper navigation around these obstructions.

    It is a flexible device, specially designed to help people with braces, bridgework or other dental appliances that restrict access to the teeth. It has a thin, firm end, and a loop into which one can thread the dental floss. This stiff or firm end enables to slide the floss through the tight or thin spaces between the teeth and the bridge, which has to be pulled slowly as soon as the floss comes between the teeth and the bridge.

    Instructions for Using the Floss Threader

    Apart from flossing teeth regularly, it is more important to learn the correct way to floss in order to remove as much dental plaque as possible. Therefore, following are simple instructions for using floss threaders.

  • Gently insert the stiff end of the threader below the gum line by the bridge. Hold on to the long piece of floss and pull the sharp end of the floss through the threader.
  • Now hold the floss with both hands and move the floss back and forth below your bridge.
  • Start flossing like you usually do with a normal piece of floss.
  • Be careful while using it underneath your new implants, bridges, and braces and ensure that you floss completely underneath the bridge using back and forth motion.
  • Pull the floss to opposite side when you are done cleaning your teeth. For each flossing use a fresh section of floss.

You can also use superfloss, an advance variation, which has a thick, firm end to help pull the rest of the floss through. Initially, you may feel a bit uneasy to clean underneath your new bridges and braces but after a week or so, you will get accustomed to this new dental care and hygiene routine. However, you need to take care to insert the threader carefully into the mouth and use the floss gently until your mouth gets used to this new dental device.

Though most dentists recommend flossing after every meal, you can do it once a day at the beginning. Furthermore, it is ideal to floss your teeth at night before bedtime, to maintain good oral health.

Black Spots on Teeth

Improvement of dark spots on teeth thinks about inadequately one’s dental wellbeing, and can be an exceptionally terrifying issue, as the stains might be obstinate in nature, prompting to an unattractive grin. Dark spots can happen anyplace on the teeth. They could be unmistakable on the front teeth or even on the molars. This staining, or recoloring, can be managed effortlessly, if, it is brought on because of outer variables, as interior elements prompting to recoloring are significantly more hard to manage.

What Causes Black Stains on Teeth?

➺ Smoking is one of the main causes. Smoking leads to small black deposits on teeth, which appear as black spots. These spots appear due to the already present calculus and tartar on the teeth. Often, smokers are not able to maintain good oral hygiene, which only further worsens the condition of their teeth.

➺ Chewing tobacco is another cause. Tobacco chewing initially causes discoloration and staining of teeth, although its long term effects could be much more hazardous, like leukoplakia, which is a pre-cancerous lesion.

➺ Excessive consumption of caffeine can lead to this condition. It is a well-known fact that caffeine, which is present in coffee and tea, causes staining of teeth. People who are addicted to caffeine, and people who have aesthetic restorations done on their teeth are more susceptible to black spots caused due to caffeine.

➺ Dental caries is another cause of such black spots. The bacteria that cause tooth decay lead to formation of black spots.

➺ Certain restorations, like silver amalgam restorations, can leak over a long period of time, leading to black spots near the gingival margin, which are called ‘oral tattoos’.

➺ Black tooth stains may develop after consumption of iron supplements, various other medicines, or after use of mouthwashes containing chlorohexedine.

Treatment Options

➺ The treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the discoloration. If these black spots are extrinsic in nature, like if they are caused due to smoking or tobacco chewing, then the only treatment option is to get the teeth cleaned, by getting an ultrasonic cleaning done, by a certified dental hygienist. The cleaning will remove the stains that are present on the surface of the teeth.

➺ For stubborn stains, another option would be to go in for cosmetic dentistry procedures. In these procedures, there are many options, which can be as simple as bleaching teeth, or smile designing. In teeth bleaching, there is removal of the stain, but this may be partial or complete. The basis of its action is, it causes lightening of the surface of teeth, which in turn, lightens these black spots.

➺ Other teeth whitening methods include the use of home remedies. Although the effectiveness of these methods on stubborn black spots is doubtful, and most dentists will advise against it, some people still opt for whitening teeth with hydrogen peroxide.

➺ It is best to go for safe and risk-free methods of whitening teeth at home, like by healthy eating, that is, by incorporating healthy food in your diet. Maintain dental hygiene by using proper tooth brushing and flossing techniques.

Thus, this needn’t be a very alarming condition, because as long as the cause is not an internal factor, it can easily be treated. But the most important thing to remember is to make dental care a top priority, and as detestable as it may sound, to visit your dentist every six months!