Illustration of white spots on three teeth on blue background

What to do about white spots on your teeth

Have you ever noticed white spots on your own or someone else’s teeth? When we think of stains, we usually think of dark colors, but stains on teeth can just as easily be whiter than the surrounding area. These white spots can happen for a few different reasons, and there are a few different ways to remove them.

Causes Of White Spots

Stains can affect the outside of the tooth and the inside. White spots are surface stains affecting the enamel, and they can occur on an otherwise healthy tooth. These spots are most commonly caused by fluorosis and demineralization.

Fluorosis occurs when the adult teeth are exposed to too much fluoride while still developing beneath the gums. This doesn’t damage the teeth, it just unevenly bleaches them. The best way to avoid fluorosis is to make sure your child doesn’t use too much toothpaste before their adult teeth start coming in. Just a pea-sized dab is enough for a young child, and no more than a smear the size of a grain of rice should be used for babies and toddlers.

Demineralization is far more harmful than fluorosis, as it involves the leaching of minerals out of the enamel through exposure to acids. This happens when plaque isn’t cleaned away effectively. Good brushing habits and regular dental cleanings are crucial for preventing this problem. Demineralization is a particular risk for people with braces, so make extra sure to clean around those brackets!

Another cause of white spots is enamel hypoplasia, meaning enamel is thinner than usual, leaving the teeth more vulnerable to stains and decay. This condition can be caused in a child’s teeth when the mother smokes while pregnant, and it can also be caused by malnutrition and premature birth.

Treatment Options For White Spots

The best thing to do is always to prevent the white spots from developing in the first place, but when they do form, there are a few different ways they can be treated. With the microabrasionroute, a thin layer of enamel is carefully removed to give the teeth a more uniform appearance. This can be paired with whitening treatments.

Another way of giving your teeth more balanced color is bleaching. Over-the-counter bleaching kits do help, but we recommend professional whitening in the dentist’s office or dentist-approved take-home kits for best results.

In cases of particularly severe staining that can’t be corrected with bleaching, veneers are an excellent option. The dentist attaches thin porcelain to the teeth, which gives them a natural, white appearance.

If you’re more worried about yellowing teeth than white spots, check out this video:

Let’s See Those Pearly Whites!

If you have white spots on your teeth, come see us so that we can figure out the best way to get you the bright, beautiful smile you deserve. We’re committed to our patients’ dental health and happiness!

Keep taking care of your beautiful smile between visits!

Illustration of man with stinky breath and a tiny team of little men in hazmat suits cleaning his tongue

The Battle Against Bad Breath

There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a social situation and suddenly realizing you have bad breath. Whether it’s a first date or a job interview, having bad breath can steal away a person’s confidence and ruin a wonderful moment. But why does this happen?

How Bad Breath Works

Sometimes bad breath is the temporary result of eating a particularly pungent meal. Bacteria in our mouths break down leftover food particles, resulting in unpleasant smells. Simple dental hygiene practices like daily flossing, twice-daily brushing, tongue-cleaning, and chewing sugar-free gum will minimize the bad breath effect of food. But some struggle with a more chronic form of bad breath, also called halitosis.

Halitosis can be caused by a variety of factors and isn’t always easy to get rid of:

Tooth decay and gum disease. Cavities and periodontitis are both caused by the bacteria that produce nasty-smelling chemicals, so poor dental health and halitosis often go hand-in-hand.

Medications. Many medications can cause dry mouth, and dry mouth leads to a host of oral health problems including halitosis because there isn’t enough saliva to wash away food and neutralize acids.

Mouth, nose, and throat infections. Infections that cause an increase in mucous can also increase the amount of oral bacteria and contribute to bad breath.

Tobacco products. No matter what form it comes in, tobacco leaves smelly chemicals in the mouth and can cause dry mouth. It also increase the risk of gum disease or oral cancer, which are other causes of bad breath.

Pregnancy. Pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and morning sickness can cause bad breath, as can eating disorders like bulimia.

Mouth-breathing. Breathing through the mouth dries out saliva and leads to all the usual problems of dry mouth, including bad breath.

Chronic conditions. In some cases, bad breath can be linked to conditions that have little to do with your oral hygiene, such as acid reflux, diabetes, or liver or kidney disease.

How To Stay Minty Fresh

The first defense against halitosis is your regular oral hygiene habits. Brushing, flossing, and cleaning the tongue all help get rid of smelly plaque and bacteria lingering in the crevices between and around teeth. Sugar-free gum and mints are great solutions for when you’re on the go (but they aren’t substitutes for brushing and flossing). Quitting smoking will also eliminate a major source of bad breath. If you’re in the habit of breathing through your mouth, try to breathe through your nose more.

Come See Us

If you’re still struggling with halitosis even when maintaining an impeccable dental hygiene regimen, there’s no reason to suffer in silence. Schedule an appointment with us so that we can discover the cause. We want to help you stay healthy and confident!

Shot of a woman sitting on the side of her bed with bad toothache with her boyfriend in the background

Jaw Pain? It Might Be Bruxism.

Grinding or clenching your teeth is a pretty normal thing to do when you’re annoyed or stressed, and that’s nothing to worry about. However, if you grind your teeth on a more regular basis, whether asleep or awake, it can become a serious problem. This kind of chronic teeth-grinding is known as bruxism.

Why Does Bruxism Happen?

Sleep bruxism, also called nocturnal bruxism, is sometimes the side effect of sleep apnea or snoring, while awake bruxism (diurnal bruxism) can be a side effect of stress. However, not everyone with bruxism is dealing with a sleep disorder or stress, and everyone with a sleep disorder or a lot of stress in their lives will have bruxism. Improperly aligned teeth can also cause bruxism.

Bruxism Symptoms

Treatment for bruxism can sometimes be tricky because there isn’t a single clear cause, so the focus tends to be on reducing symptoms and minimizing the damage. You might not be consciously aware of a teeth-grinding habit, but if you experience at least some of the following symptoms, it could be because of bruxism:

  • Sore jaw (with sleep bruxism, your jaw will be most sore in the morning, whereas with awake bruxism, it’ll be most sore in the evening)
  • Frequent headaches from the constant strain
  • Overdeveloped jaw muscles (because you’re giving them a major workout!)
  • Shifting teeth
  • Flattened chewing surfaces of teeth
  • Exposed dentin and increased tooth sensitivity
  • Chipped, cracked, or split teeth
  • Tooth loss

Bruxism Treatment

There are a variety of treatments or approaches to either reduce the grinding or the damage it causes, depending on the type of bruxism you have.

Behavioral Therapy

You can become more aware of your clenching/grinding habits with behavioral therapy or habit-reversal techniques and consciously work to stop. Because it’s much harder to control what your jaw muscles do in your sleep, this option tends to work better for awake bruxism.

Relaxation

Relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing exercises, massages, warm baths, calming music, and a full night’s sleep can help you de-stress and stop grinding if your bruxism is stress-related.

Prescribed Medication

Medicine is rarely used to treat bruxism, especially if other treatments are helping, but muscle relaxant medication prescribed by your doctor might help you unclench while you sleep.

Set up a free consultation with us!

If you are experiencing any bruxism symptoms, we’d love to schedule a free consultation with you. Many of our doctors can provide custom night guards to help you stop grinding in your sleep or advise you on any dental health habits or behaviors that can help you get relief.

Weight Scale with long shadow. Bathroom scales icon with long shadows. Vector illustration in modern flat style. EPS 10.

Weight Loss & Oral Health

Maintaining good oral health is a goal we should all be striving to achieve each and every day. Not only does this help us to feel like our best selves — having good oral health reduces our risk of developing a variety of conditions and diseases! Brushing, flossing, tongue-cleaning and regular dental visits are all crucial ways to keep your mouth healthy, but did you know that a healthy diet and weight management can also have a positive impact on oral health?

How Weight Loss And Oral Health Correlate

One way our oral health correlates to what we eat and our weight has to do with our blood glucose levels. Sugar (glucose) is the favorite food of the bacteria in our mouths, and when we eat, our blood glucose goes up, particularly when we aren’t eating healthy foods. Maintaining a healthy weight also reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which makes blood sugar even more difficult to regulate and puts oral health at risk.

Inflammation in the body due to being overweight can also be harmful. It can make people’s bones lose density and they can even lose teeth because of gum disease! Maintaining a healthy diet and weight is important because our teeth and gums need the proper nutrients and vitamins from the foods we eat to be strong and work properly!

Crash Dieting Versus Oral Health

While we recommend healthy diets and lifestyles for oral health, crash dieting can do more harm than good. People want to see results fast and don’t always know the best ways to do it, so they turn to things like the internet or friends’ experiences to learn of the latest diets they can try. One example of a harmful crash diet is the grapefruit diet, which is bad for oral health because it can erode the enamel on our teeth due to high acid levels. Another “easy” solution that causes problems is weight loss pills, which can lead to teeth grinding.

The Right Diets For Your Teeth And Your Health

When dieting is done right, it isn’t a problem for the teeth. Diets that encourage eating more whole foods and reducing added sugars will properly nourish your body and help oral health rather than hinder it. Vegetables, fruits, proteins, and healthy fats are all crucial to having good oral health! Eating a large amount of vegetables can help aid in healthy gums and oral tissues. Drinking whole milk will also help to provide our teeth with the calcium they need!

Continue Building Healthy Habits

Eating and providing our bodies with the proper nutrients improves our lives in many ways, not just by improving our oral health. Conversely, maintaining a healthy weight through a nutritious diet isn’t the only way to keep your mouth healthy, so don’t forget about those other oral health habits!

Keep up the good work in living your healthiest lives!

Jaw with teeth on white background, medicine concept. Vector illustration.

The Different Types of Teeth

You’ve probably noticed that your teeth aren’t all the same shape, but do you know the reason? Humans have four different types of teeth, and they each serve specific purposes, both in helping us chew and in giving us our beautiful smiles! The reason we need so many different types of teeth is that we are omnivores, which means we eat both plants and meat. We need teeth that can handle all of our favorite foods!

human dental anatomy permanent tooth

Incisors

At the very front of the mouth, the top four and bottom four teeth are the incisors. The middle ones are central incisors, while the ones on the sides are lateral incisors. Incisors are built for slicing. When we take a bite out of an apple, for instance, our incisors shear off a tasty chunk of fruit, but they aren’t the teeth we actually chew with.

Canines

Next to the lateral incisors are our canines, which are the sharpest and longest teeth in our mouths. This enables them to grip and tear food, particularly meat. Unlike incisors, we only have four canines. Their long roots and their position at the “corners” of our dental arches also make them some of the most important teeth in our smiles, because they provide much of the shape. Another name for canine teeth is eyeteeth. That might seem weird, but it’s because these teeth are directly beneath our eyes!

Premolars

After the canines, we have our premolars. You can think of premolars as hybrids between canines and molars. They have sharp outer edges, but they also have flat chewing surfaces, which means they can help the canines with tearing food and the molars with grinding it up. We don’t have any premolars as children; our eight adult premolars are actually the teeth that replace our baby molars!

Molars

Finally, we have the molars. Molars are our biggest teeth, with multiple roots and large, flat chewing surfaces. We have eight baby molars and up to twelve adult molars, depending on whether or not we have and keep our wisdom teeth. Molars are the teeth that do most of the chewing, because those flat surfaces are perfect for grinding and crushing food until it’s ready to be swallowed.

What About Herbivores And Carnivores?

Our teeth are the way they are because we’re omnivores. Herbivores (plant-eaters) and carnivores (meat-eaters) have very different teeth. Herbivores typically have chisel-like incisors and large, flat premolars and molars for chewing plants, while their canines are small, if they have them at all. Carnivores tend to have much bigger canine teeth than we do, but their incisors are much smaller, and while they still have premolars and molars, they are often serrated like knives, built for shredding rather than grinding.

Biannual Visits

What do all four types of your teeth have in common? They need regular attention from a dentist! Keep bringing those incisors, canines, premolars, and molars to see us every six months so that we can make sure they’re all staying healthy. In the meantime, you can do your part by remembering to brush twice a day, floss daily, and cut back on sugary treats!

Test your knowledge and take our quiz!

Now that you’re an expert about the different types of teeth, test your knowledge with our Different Types of Teeth quiz!

Multi Generation African American Family Standing In Garden Smiling At Camera

Give a Smile Makeover to Mom or Dad

Give the gift of a new smile this Mother’s and Father’s Day.

 

To celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Day, we’re inviting you to nominate your mother or father for a Smile Makeover courtesy of Summit Dental Health. To nominate Mom or Dad, just click or tap the button below and fill out our nomination form with all requested information. The winner will be selected by Father’s Day (June 17) and notified by phone and email. Good luck!

 

TAP TO NOMINATE

 


Contest Rules

· 1. ENTRY: No purchase necessary to enter or win. Contestants will enter by submitting their name, address, phone number, email address and photo via contest online form at the bridal show.

· 2. ELIGIBILITY: This contest is open only to legal U.S. residents, over the age of 18. Employees of Summit Dental Health (along with its contractors, affiliates and subsidiaries) and their families are not eligible. Void where prohibited by law. Contestants residing in those areas where the contest is void may participate in the contest but may not win any prizes.

· 3. WINNER SELECTION: Employees of Summit Dental Health will select the winner of the contest. Submissions will be reviewed based on dental needs and timeframe to complete the winning dental services prior to the winner’s wedding date. All decisions by Summit Dental Health are final.

· 4. PRIZES: The winner will receive cosmetic dental service performed at the Summit Dental Health practice as determined by Summit Dental Health. The maximum value of these cosmetic dental services will not exceed $2500.

· 5. WINNER NOTIFICATION: The winner will be notified within 14 days after the determination date. Inability to contact a winner may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner.

· 6. GENERAL CONDITIONS:

o a. Participants hereby grant Summit Dental Health a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide license to broadcast, publish, store, reproduce, distribute, syndicate, and otherwise use and exhibit the winner (along with their names, voices, likenesses, dental services performed and/or before / during / after photos of the dental progress) in all media now known and later come into being for purposes of trade or advertising without further compensation. Participants represent and warrant that they have full legal right, power and authority to grant Summit Dental Health the foregoing license and if applicable, have secured all necessary rights from any participants in, and contributors to, their Submission in order to grant such a license.

o b. The winner will be required to execute and return a Consent / General Release form within 14 days of notification. Non-compliance within this time period may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. Any income tax liability is the sole responsibility of the winner.

· 7. USE OF CONTEST INFORMATION: All entries become the property of Summit Dental Health. Summit Dental Health reserves the right to use any and all information related to the contest, including photos provided by the contestants, for editorial, marketing and any other purpose, unless prohibited by law.

· 8. CONDUCT: All contest participants agree to be bound by these Official Rules. Summit Dental Health in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person it finds to be tampering with the entry process, the operation of its web site or is otherwise in violation of these rules.

· 9. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: Summit Dental Health is not responsible for late, lost or misdirected entries or for any computer, online, telephone or technical malfunctions that may occur. If for any reason, the contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention or technical failures of any sort, Summit Dental Health may cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest. Entrants further agree to release Summit Dental Health from any liability resulting from, or related to participation in the contest.

 

(402)-799-1147
Call us now ➜

Request an appointment








Yes No
Phone Email


Humans: please leave this field blank.