Also referred to as demineralization or decalcification, white spot lesions are subsurface porosities which are caused by dental plaque – the same thing that causes cavities. These lesions appear when acids that are formed by plague do away with minerals on the tooth surface and alter the way it reflects light. White spot lesions mostly occur between the gums and the braces where brushing is almost impossible. In most cases, lesions develop under swollen gum tissue, something that makes their detection hard until after dental braces are removed and swelling subsides.
Recent studies have found that white spot lesions occur in approximately 24-percent of teenagers who have never had dental brackets on them. The figure jumps as high as 60-percent in adolescents with braces. While dental brackets do not cause white spots lesions, they do complicate the process of removing the plaque that is responsible.
Are white spot lesions preventable?
As a matter of fact, they are. The most current approaches in white spot lesion prevention can be grouped into three categories, including:
• Protecting the enamel with a coating
• Hardening the enamel surface
• Plague removal
Plague removal approach is the guaranteed way to prevent the formation of white spot lesions on your teeth. When you approach a dentist for dental cleaning in Mississauga, or to seek advice on how to prevent the formation of these spots, you are first given a basic oral hygiene lesson. You are then provided with a brushing guideline and a list of the drinks and foods you need to avoid during the course of treatment. The importance of removing plague is emphasized on, and the patient is show several pictures if severe demineralization. In simple terms, the patient is shown the importance of removing plague so as to prevent formation of white spot lesions on his or her teeth.
Which is the best way of removing plague on the surface of the teeth?
One of the best ways to remove plague from the surface of the teeth is to use fluoridated toothpaste. Patients are also recommended to utilize special toothbrushes and floss threads when brushing. During treatment, patients are provided with appropriate brushing items or if not available recommended where to get them. Patients with severe dental issues often have their brackets removed early than is the norm. But whichever the case, if plague is regularly removed from the teeth, then the chances of formation of white spot lesions are significantly reduced.
How are white spot lesions removed from your teeth?
The best way to remove white spot lesions once formed is to always keep your teeth clean. Bath your enamels in your normal oral fluids for at least six months after removal of your brackets. The spots will improve with time, and minor ones might disappear altogether. The use of extra fluoride is not advisable during this critical healing period as it might seal the surface of the lesions, preventing re-mineralization beneath the surface. After six months, patients are encouraged to use re-mineralization pastes and low concentrated over-the-counter fluoride rinses when brushing their teeth.
A bleaching treatment can also be opted for to lighten the enamel surrounding the white spot lesions. This treatment also re-opens the pores overlying subsurface porosities. As the bleaching effects wear off, white spot lesions actually bend in better with the surrounding teeth. For severe cases, your dentist might perform cosmetic bonding, or place porcelain veneers.
All in all, it should be noted that neither the use of sealants or fluoride can replace good oral hygiene when it comes to preventing formation of plague on surface of the teeth, and thereon white spot lesions. Simply put, by keeping plague off the surface of your teeth, you will never have to worry about the issue of developing white spot lesions on your teeth.