What Causes Chalky Teeth?
If you or your children have been complaining of a chalky feeling on your teeth, or you are noticing white spots on your baby’s teeth, family dentist Dr. Carol Jin, DDS in San Ramon, CA, can help. Sometimes, gritty teeth are a matter of simple oral hygiene. However, chalky teeth, especially in young children, can also be a sign of a severe dental condition known as enamel hypoplasia. This condition should be caught and treated as early as possible.
Gritty Teeth & The Foods You Eat
Sometimes, that chalky or gritty feeling on your teeth is just a side effect of what you’ve been eating. Many foods, including strawberries, chocolate, nuts, dry beans, and leafy greens, contain an organic compound called oxalic acid, which can combine with calcium to form tiny crystals that don’t break down with saliva.
In this case, using a quality mouthwash after eating, or chewing a piece of sugar-free gum, can help restore that clean, fresh, healthy feeling to your pearly whites.
Enamel Hypoplasia In Children
Chalky teeth that persist after flossing and brushing might be due to a condition called enamel hypoplasia. Also known as hypomineralization, this condition, usually diagnosed during childhood, occurs when the tooth enamel doesn’t fully develop. Enamel hypoplasia can be genetic.
Chalky teeth can also be caused by environmental factors, including:
- Premature Birth
- Infections, Both Bacterial & Viral
- Trauma To The Mouth Or Developing Teeth
- Celiac Disease
- Jaundice Or Liver Disease
- Calcium Deficiency
The Symptoms Of Hypomineralization
Because thin enamel can lead to tooth decay, broken teeth, and other dental problems, enamel hypoplasia should be treated as soon as possible by your family dentist.
Here are some of the signs of enamel hypoplasia that you should look out for:
- Teeth break easily or wear down easily.
- You see white spots or yellow-brown stains on teeth.
- There are fissures, depressions, tiny grooves, or pits on teeth.
- Teeth are sensitive to heat or cold.
Treatment Options For Chalky Teeth
Some environmental causes of enamel hypoplasia may be reduced or reversed; for instance, supplementing the diet with Vitamin A or D can help strengthen teeth as they develop. Hereditary hypomineralization cannot be prevented and will likely require lifelong treatment to repair weak and damaged teeth.
Depending on the level of damage, your general dentist may recommend:
- Tooth Whitening – to whiten discolored teeth.
- Enamel Microabrasion – to help improve the look of teeth.
- Fluoride Treatments
- Dental Fillings – whether gold, amalgam, or resin-based.
- Resin-Bonded Sealant – to help improve sensitivity
- Dental Crowns
Help With Chalky Teeth In San Ramon, CA
If you or your child need treatment for chalky teeth, Carol Jin, DDS, is a California family dentist you can trust. She and her friendly, caring staff are dedicated to keeping your entire family’s smiles bright and healthy. Don’t hesitate to call and make your appointment today.