What is decalcification of teeth?
It’s the loss of calcium, an essential mineral for the strength of your teeth. Decalcification of teeth is a common problem that many people overlook yet it can lead to teeth decay. Well, without further ado, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of teeth decalcification.
What causes decalcification of teeth?
Poor dental hygiene is the most common cause. This includes not brushing or flossing of your teeth regularly. It also includes failure to clean your teeth thoroughly with your braces intact. The overall result is the accumulation of plaque on your teeth. The bacteria in the plaque then produce acids which destroy minerals such as calcium while eroding your teeth enamel.
In younger children, decalcification can be a developmental problem. In this population, it could be as a result of dental fluorosis, a certain condition caused by excessive fluoride consumption that leads to demineralization of teeth.
Excessive consumption of sugary stuff also offers a conducive environment for bacteria to thrive in your mouth. Such bacteria contribute greatly to teeth decalcification by producing acids which erode teeth enamel.
Clinical presentation of teeth decalcification
The following are signs that will probably point towards decalcification of teeth:
- White spots on the surface of your teeth.
- Your teeth become brittle and therefore prone to fractures and crumbling.
- The white spots on your teeth are prone to developing into cavities.
How is teeth decalcification managed?
The following are treatment options for decalcification of teeth.
- Enamel microabrasion
This is a procedure that involves a dentist removing a small portion of the enamel from your teeth to reduce the conspicuous nature of the white spots. This procedure is followed by teeth bleaching.
- Teeth bleaching/whitening
Teeth whitening pastes and gels are available over-the-counter. They can also be obtained from online stores. They are meant to even your teeth color.
- Dental veneer
These are thin porcelain coverings placed on the front surface of your teeth to hide the white spots. Dental veneers must be fitted by a dentist.
- Topical fluoride
Topical fluoride encourages enamel development and prevents decay.
- Composite resins
Composite resins can be used if cavities have developed.
Prevention of teeth decalcification
The following are ways to prevent decalcification of teeth:
- Maintain proper dental hygiene.
- Reduce the intake of sugary and acidic foodstuffs
- Ensure the consumption of fluoride-free water.
- Use toothpaste in the right amounts.
- Visit a dentist regularly for a checkup
In the review above, you’ve seen the causes of teeth decalcification, how it presents clinically and how to manage this problem. Teeth decalcification, though a minor problem, can lead to other major problems like cavities and dental caries. You, therefore, need to deal with this problem once you notice it.