White spots on teeth cause many people to be self-conscious about their smile. Of course, having white teeth is a sign of good oral hygiene and dental care. But white spots on teeth shouldn’t be ignored because they can sometimes be the first sign of tooth decay. However white blotches or patches under the tooth enamel that appear whiter aren’t always a sign that tooth decay is happening. The white spots could appear because of weak tooth enamel, a lack of calcium in the diet, consuming too many acidic foods, or a result of wearing braces.
If you notice discolored patches on your teeth, you should try to find out the cause of the white spots. The white spots are often a sign that minerals are leaching out of your teeth, a process called demineralization or decalcification. If left untreated, weakened tooth enamel can lead to tooth cavities forming and causing dental problems. There are many home remedies to help even the color of your teeth and get rid of the white patches. However, reversing the process of demineralization will take some time and patience.
Please read on to find out why white spots have appeared on your teeth. You will also find out in this article how to make your own homemade toothpaste to remineralize the enamel surface of your teeth. We will also look at easy ways to prevent the appearance of white blotches under the hard, shiny surface of your teeth.
What Causes White Spots on Teeth
- There are many factors that can cause white stains on your teeth. During the course of a day, the bacteria and pH levels in our mouths constantly change. Usually, saliva helps to naturally cleanse acids from the teeth and prevent a layer of plaque building up. Also, good oral hygiene practices help to remove plaque-causing bacteria.
- Here are some of the main reasons why spots can appear under the enamel of your teeth.
Poor oral hygiene
- Poor oral hygiene can cause demineralization in the tooth structure and lead to the appearance of white spots on teeth. The teeth are made up of many minerals and are protected by a hard layer of enamel. Poor dental hygiene can cause a buildup of bacteria in the mouth which causes acidic compounds to weaken tooth enamel.
- Information in the International Journal of Nanomedicine said that a lack of regular teeth brushing can lead to acidic properties eroding the surface of the tooth. This can cause a change in the mineral content of the teeth and eventually cause areas in the teeth that appear whiter.1 This is a process called decalcification or demineralization.
- Wearing braces can cause a buildup of plaque around the orthodontic bands and brackets which can lead to visible white blotches in the teeth. The white spots aren’t directly caused by the dental braces but because it is usually difficult to clean around the metal brackets.
- A report in the Journal of Conservative Dentistry commented that white spots on the teeth are often seen when orthodontic braces are removed. These white lesions are usually a result of acidic and sugary content in the diet causing a buildup of plaque around the brace brackets.
Eating acidic foods
- If you have a diet high in acidic foods, then you are at more risk of developing white spots under the hard enamel on your teeth. A buildup of acid in your oral cavity can cause the enamel to thin and cause decalcification in your teeth.
- According to the International Journal of Nanomedicine, tooth demineralization that results in white spots is caused by the acidic content of food and drink. These acidic foods erode the enamel which protects the teeth.
- The Journal of Conservative Dentistry explains that the white spots are due to bacteria causing calcium to leach out. If the lack of minerals isn’t replaced or addressed, then white patches will be visible in the teeth.
Consuming sugary drinks
- It is a well-known fact that too much sugar and consuming sugary drinks are bad for your teeth. However, sugary drinks could be to blame for white patches on your teeth. Sugar also causes damage to the protective enamel on your teeth causing them to have a white stain-like appearance.
- The Journal of Zhejiang Science reported that white spots are commonly seen in people who drink a lot of sugary drinks, including fruit juices and citrus juices. In these cases, the scientists reported that the white spots were connected with dental erosion caused by too much sugar.
Too much fluoride
- A condition called fluorosis is when too much fluoride is ingested while teeth are still forming. Although many dentists say that fluoride is essential for healthy teeth, there are many recent scientific studies that have highlighted the dangers of fluoride in water.
- Studies into the effects of fluoride on teeth, while they are developing, have shown that this chemical can have a negative impact on oral health. For example, the Journal of Applied Oral Science found that ingesting excessive amounts of fluoride can cause a child’s teeth to develop white discoloration.4
- Nutritional deficiencies can affect the health of your teeth and cause a condition called enamel hypoplasia. Brown to whitish patches under tooth enamel is often seen in cases of enamel hypoplasia.
- For example, the journal Caries Research reported that nutritional deficiencies can cause the surface of the teeth to be less mineralized. Researchers found that these deficiencies affected enamel formation and white, yellow, or brownish spots developed.5
- Getting whiter teeth by bleaching can also cause whiter patches under the tooth enamel to appear. This happens because the bleaching agents affect the protective enamel layer on the teeth.
- The Australian Dental Journal recommended that after bleaching teeth, you should use a remineralizing toothpaste to help build up the mineral content of your teeth and strengthen the enamel. This can help to repair any damage to the enamel and prevent white spots appearing on your teeth.6
- One side effect of celiac disease is the appearance of white spots under the tooth enamel. Celiac disease is an intolerance to gluten and can result in tissue damage due to malabsorption of essential nutrients in the body. This can cause enamel hypoplasia and other abnormalities in the tooth structure.
- According to the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario, celiac disease can cause tooth discoloration that results in yellow, brown, or white spots. It can also cause dry mouth syndrome, and the lack of saliva in the mouth can also contribute to the appearance of white patches on the teeth.7
How to Get Rid of White Spots on Teeth Naturally
- Looking after the health of your teeth and gums is one of the best ways to prevent and treat white spots on your teeth. However, just regular brushing may not be enough to remove the discoloration on your teeth.
- Here are some ways to help remineralize your teeth to help gradually get rid of the white blotches that are affecting the look of your teeth.
Homemade remineralizing toothpaste
In cases where decalcification has caused white spots to appear in your teeth, many studies recommend using a toothpaste to remineralize your teeth. For example, the Australian Dental Journal (quoted earlier) recommended a remineralizing toothpaste to repair damaged enamel layers.6
It is easy to make you own remineralizing toothpaste to help remove white patches from your teeth.
How to use:
The recipe for a homemade toothpaste is as follows:
- You will need 5 teaspoons calcium powder and 3-5 teaspoons of virgin coconut oil.
- Gradually mix the coconut oil with the calcium powder until you have a thick, fine paste.
- Add a drop of food grade peppermint oil to give a fresh taste to the toothpaste.
- Use a clean popsicle stick to apply the homemade toothpaste to your toothbrush.
- Clean your teeth 2-3 times a day to help restore minerals to your teeth and get rid of the white tooth patches.
After brushing your teeth to remove the buildup of bacteria and remineralize your teeth, you can try out one of these mouthwashes to help keep your teeth clean – saline solution or baking soda mouthwash.
- You can also make an eggshell toothpaste to help remineralize your teeth and eliminate white stains and lines from your teeth. Eggshells contain high amounts of calcium and other minerals that are essential for healthy teeth.
- The Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research found that brushing your teeth with eggshell powder can help to reduce the number of cavities and white spots on teeth. For examples, the researchers found that the high pH content of eggshell powder helped to lower acidic content in the mouth. Also, the levels of calcium help to restore essential minerals to the teeth.12
How to use:
Make a great natural toothpaste using eggshells to help remove white spots from your teeth. Here is the recipe:
- Boil eggshells in a pan of boiling water to kill off any bacteria from the shells. Ideally, you need enough eggshells to create 1/4 cup of eggshell powder.
- Allow the eggshells to dry before grinding them in a coffee grinder to create a fine powder.
- Add 1 tablespoon baking soda to the powder.
- Add just enough virgin coconut oil to form a paste of toothpaste consistency.
- Use as you would any regular toothpaste to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and help eliminate white patches from your teeth.
Avoid foods that damage tooth enamel
- If you have a problem of white spots on your teeth, you should avoid foods that damage tooth enamel. As already mentioned in this article, acidic and sugary foods destroy the protective layer on your teeth and can lead to more cavities and white teeth spots appearing.
- Some research suggests that foods containing phytic acid prevent the body absorbing some nutrients and minerals. For example, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that phytic acid impairs the absorption of calcium, zinc, and iron in humans.8
- Foods that contain high amounts of phytic acid are brown rice, beans, peas, grains, seeds, and nuts. Of course, a healthy diet should incorporate these healthy foods. However, you could limit your intake of these phytic acid foods while you are using natural toothpaste to remineralize your teeth.
- For more information on what foods to avoid for healthy teeth and gums, please read my article on how to fight cavities and tooth decay naturally.
Eat for healthy teeth
- As well as avoiding or limiting certain foods that negatively affect the health of your mouth, you can incorporate certain foods that help boost dental health. This can make sure that you don’t suffer from a mineral deficiency that can result in white spots on your teeth.
- According to dentist Dr. Alfred D. Wyatt Jr on WebMD, the best foods for oral health are cheeses, chicken, nuts (remember that nuts also contain phytic acid mentioned previously) and milk because they provide plenty of calcium. For people who are lactose intolerant and cannot ingest milk products, Dr. Wyatt recommends green vegetables that are high in calcium. Also, firm vegetables and fruits such as apples and pears have a high water content and help to stimulate saliva production which protects your teeth.9
- Of course, calcium is an essential mineral for healthy teeth and bones, and you can read my article about better sources of calcium than dairy products to give you some great sources of calcium that will keep your teeth strong.
- The Ayurvedic technique of oil pulling helps to remove a buildup of plaque from teeth and prevent cavities forming. Oil pulling involves swishing 2 tablespoons of high-quality organic cold pressed oil around your mouth for 15-20 minutes. This helps to prevent white spots on teeth, pull toxins from saliva and acts as an antiseptic mouthwash.
- A review published in 2017 in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine published information on the effect of oil pulling for dental health. Researchers have found that oil pulling helps to reduce the overall number of bacteria in the mouth and can help reduce the amount of plaque on the teeth. It also helps to address the problem of bleeding gums and improve symptoms of bad breath.10
- For more information and research on the benefits of oil pulling and how to effectively use it to improve oral health, please read my article on the reasons why you should start oil pulling today.
How to Prevent White Spots on Teeth
If you notice white spots appearing on your teeth, you should visit your dentist for a full checkup. White blotches under the enamel can indicate that there is the mineral loss from your teeth and this could be the first sign of tooth decay.
According to dentist Dr. Flora Stay, taking steps to prevent white spots appearing on teeth also helps to gradually reverse the decalcification process. Taking the following steps can help to remineralize your teeth and prevent areas of white patches forming in your teeth:11
- Avoid foods with a high acid or sugar content. This includes starches, sports drinks, sugar, and fruit juices.
- Minimize mouth dryness as much as possible. Saliva is important to keep the pH levels in your mouth balanced and kill off bacteria.
- Keep up with regular dental hygiene care. This includes regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist.