Tooth demineralization is the early stage of tooth decay where the enamel of the tooth, i.e. the outer shell of the tooth starts dissolving. It is one of the most visible forms of tooth decay and can be seen as white spots on your teeth.
Demineralization of the tooth happens due to the exposure of the same to the acids present in our foods and drinks. However, bacterial plaque can also expose the tooth to some forms of acids. These white spots formed can thus, soften the enamel roughen the surface of the tooth. Therefore, these spots get darken with times as they become more vulnerable to the stains. Dentists, thus, recommend the use of strong fluoride based toothpastes for tackling the demineralization.
Things responsible for tooth demineralization
Acids are the major reason for enamel decay and can affect the tooth in many ways possible. It can either accumulate on the tooth due to a bacterial plaque or due to the presence of acid in your food and drinks. Here are some of the most common sources for acids which eventually lead to tooth demineralization:
Bacterial plaque is a film that grows on the surface of the mouth and slowly damages it. Soft at first, the plaque hardens and becomes worse if not removed on time. The disease is one of the major factors for accumulation of acids on the surface of teeth leading to enamel decay.
In patients with stomach problems like bulimia or reflux disorders, the stomach produces more hydrochloric acid than usual to digest food. This leads to accumulation of acid on the surface of the tooth, and in turn, enamel demineralization.
Foods high in citrus acid, such as lemons, oranges etc. can also expose the tooth to acid and be responsible for its decay. However, controlled consumption of the same is healthy for both the body and the teeth.
Aerated drinks and beverages like soda, diet soda, energy drinks, and flavored water contain high amount of phosphoric acid which is majorly responsible for enamel decay.
When the primary incisor of a baby tooth is injured, the permanent incisor can develop an isolated demineralized white spot. Similarly, the placement of a primary tooth closer to the tip of a developing permanent incisor’s crown can also lead to an inflammation and thus, cause white spots on the tooth.
Not brushing the teeth twice a day or flossing come under poor dental hygiene. It becomes even more crucial when the person is undergoing some form of orthodontic treatment. If, during this time, one doesn’t take good care of their mouth, it may lead to white spots on one’s teeth.
Drugs like meth cause one’s mouth to dry, not giving enough room for the saliva to neutralize the acid. Constant drug abusers also tend to have poor nutrition and poor dental hygiene contributing to their tooth decay.
How to treat tooth demineralization?
Enamel decay can be easily diagnosed depending on the health of your teeth and its texture. Demineralization makes the surface of the tooth soft and chalky, scraping off a powdery white substance readily. The tooth also stains from tea, coffee, or any food colorings faster, indicating the damage done to the teeth.
The treatment of the enamel decay, however, involves only topical treatment from the dentist in forms of fluoride gels and varnishes. The dentist may also recommend the patient to use fluoride based toothpaste on a regular basis to neutralize the acids and in turn, provide more minerals to the teeth. One should also maintain good dental hygiene along with including natural and organic fruits and vegetables in their diet.
Organic foods are rich in minerals which help keep the acids that damage the tooth at bay and also help in keeping your teeth strong. In case of problems like bulimia or stomach infections, treating the actual disorder helps in the betterment of the dental health.