Why Do I Have White Spots on My Teeth?

Your teeth enamel is primarily minerals like hydroxyapatite and magnesium. Enamel protects the dentin and pulp inside your teeth and shields them from the environment, including the potentially infectious bacteria in your mouth.

Although healthy enamel is tough, it may begin to thin or discolor over time or with damage. Sometimes, discoloration includes the development of white spots. These spots may make your smile less than bright. Unfortunately, they may also indicate a serious dental problem like decay.

At Goodman Dental Center in Queen Creek, Arizona, our expert dentists, Brian Goodman, DDS, and Tanner Goodman, DDS, evaluate the health of your teeth at every biannual exam. If you have white spots on your teeth, they determine the cause and then come up with a solution.

Do you have white spots on your teeth? The following are some of the most common causes.

Plaque buildup  

Poor oral hygiene is one of the most common causes of white spots. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth thoroughly twice a day, plaque builds up on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that attracts bacteria.

The bacteria in plaque produce acid. The acid then erodes your enamel and leads to decalcification. Decalcification is when the minerals in tooth enamel go away. As the minerals leave your enamel, some areas appear whiter than others.

In addition, your diet can be a factor. Even if you practice good oral hygiene, consuming too many acidic foods and beverages can accelerate decalcification. This leaves white spots and makes your teeth more susceptible to decay.

Orthodontic treatment

After removing your braces, you may first have white spots on your teeth. Traditional braces can make it difficult to thoroughly clean your teeth, particularly if you don’t use a water pick in addition to a toothbrush and floss.

When you can’t clean an area, plaque builds up and demineralizes your enamel. The result can be white spots where your braces once lay.


Although the American Dental Association recommends brushing with fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water to strengthen enamel, too much fluoride early in tooth development has the opposite effect. Excessive fluoride intake during tooth development can discolor enamel. 

Fluorosis starts in childhood when children consume high levels of fluoride in water, toothpaste, and other sources during tooth development. You can’t develop fluorosis after your teeth have erupted from the gums, however.

Enamel hypoplasia

Enamel hypoplasia is underdeveloped enamel, which could make teeth look spotty. Enamel hypoplasia may be influenced by malnutrition, illness during tooth development, or certain medications taken during childhood.

Treatment options for white spots 

White spots can be unsightly, but they could also mean that the health of your enamel is under threat. If you notice white spots on your teeth, contact us for an evaluation and treatment.

First, we conduct an examination to uncover the cause of the white spots. We then develop a treatment plan to tackle them. Good oral hygiene is always key to preventing and addressing white spots on teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings help maintain enamel health and reduce your risk of worsened white spots. We may also recommend:

Topical fluoride

Topical fluoride treatments can help if you have mild decalcification. Topical fluoride may help remineralize the enamel to restore its strength and appearance.

Dental bonding

In dental bonding, we apply a tooth-colored resin to the affected teeth. The resin covers the white spots. Resins give you natural-looking results without the need for more invasive treatments.


Microabrasion is a minimally invasive dental procedure that removes a thin layer of enamel, including white spots. This procedure alone can improve the appearance of your teeth. However, we may combine it with teeth whitening for a more dramatic effect.

Porcelain veneers

If your white spots are severe or you have other discoloration, we may suggest porcelain veneers. Veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells custom-made to cover the front surfaces of your teeth. They are a long-lasting, stain-resistant cosmetic solution for white spots.

Are you bothered by white spots on your teeth? Get a customized treatment plan today: Book an appointment over the phone or online with Goodman Dental Center.  

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