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White Spots on Teeth

Posted May 06 2009 1:33pm
Dr. Ellie,

I am 30 and am starting to see white spots and streaks on my teeth. I have tried the internet and I can't find anything on this happening as an adult. I started seeing them about a year ago. Is this dental fluorosis? What would cause it to show up now?

Thank you,

Hi LC,

White spots on teeth occur when the surface of the tooth (the enamel) looses its mineral content.
Minerals get dissolved out of teeth by acidity.

So the question is....where is the acidity coming from to cause these white spots?

Plaque White Spots
Spots can occur on a tooth surface that is in contact with plaque, because plaque bacteria produce acids. (By the way, I doubt this is your reason for your white spots). Plaque has to remain on the tooth surface undisturbed for three weeks for the acids from plaque to cause white spot damage.

Most often Plaque White Spots are seen when braces or brackets are removed from teeth. Brackets provide areas that are difficult to clean and plaque can easily remain undisturbed for three weeks or longer - causing white spot damage. White spots that are not reversed (see below) will continue to break down and form cavities.

Flat Surface White Spots
These white spots are similar - but are seen on the flat surfaces of teeth. If you are a really good detective you can try to think why you have them.

Perhaps you drink sports drinks or vitamin waters - does the liquid hit your teeth at this particular point- do you drink it with a straw ? Almost all sports drinks, fruited waters or vitamin waters are extremely acidic and will rapidly take the minerals out of your teeth.
If you sip a drink all day long - this will be the "cause" of your damage. Have you been using Whitening products or White Strips - White strips are unbelievably acidic and demineralize teeth rapidly.

White Spots on the Cusps (pointed parts) of teeth
These white spots are usually caused by general mouth acidity. People with acid reflux (GERD) often have this damage. Perhaps you are drinking acidic soda drinks etc. or you may have a dry mouth (dry mouth is a reason for mouth acidity). Some people eat sour candies - lemon rinds - suck grapefruits - lemons - drink cider vinegar - lemon water - citric acid...etc...etc..

All this acidity pulls minerals out of your teeth and leaves you with generalized white spots

What can you DO?
The good news is that, if you work quickly, you can reverse white spots. You can put minerals back into these teeth and slowly the white spots will fade away. The quicker you start - the better the results.

The other good news is that you do not have to give up eating or drinking your favorite drink. You just need to protect your teeth from the acidic foods and drinks with some xylitol mints or gum.
Protect your teeth with xylitol all day long. You may want to consider Zellies gum and mints - and eat one or two after anything acidic to take away the acidity and help protect and heal your teeth.

GIVE UP whitening products - no more whitening toothpaste - only use Crest Original Paste!!!

In addition I would recommend my entire Complete Mouth Care System.

Use this system of rinses as recommended - making sure you include the correct kind of toothpaste, and leave the final ACT rinse on your teeth for as long as you can. You will reverse the damage very quickly with this method.

ACT rinse or a Zellie mint must be the final thing on your teeth at night as you go to sleep.
You must use these specific rinses and xylitol together to get quick and complete healing.
Walgreens sells most of the rinses. Online we sell a kit with everything you will need to get going.

Good luck and please let me know the outcome - make a note four months ahead on your calendar and please give me a progress report if you have time.

It can take between four to twenty four months for white spots to reverse and heal.

I would love to hear back from you,
Best Wishes,

Ellie Phillips DDS
Dental Health for Everyone!
26 Corporate Woods
Rochester NY 14623

This site is privately and personally sponsored, funded and supported by Dr. Ellie Phillips. There are no financial or personal ties to Johnson and Johnson or to Pfizer Corporation and the endorsement of their products is based on clinical observation, and independant ADA endorsement. To contact Dr. Ellie, email
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