Teeth decalcification – what to do? Causes, symptoms, treatment

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Decalcification of teeth can be easily missed, however, it is the first stage of tooth decay. Therefore, it is worth learning to recognize the decalcification of teeth and effectively counteract it.

How to recognize tooth decalcification?

The first sign that enamel demineralization is progressing too quickly is the formation of tiny snow-white spots. In most cases, these will only be single spots, although it sometimes happens that symptoms of enamel demineralization are observed on several teeth and their different surfaces. When enamel decalcification reaches a fairly significant degree, tooth sensitivity to temperature or pressure may occur.

Spotting the first signs of decalcification can be difficult if plaque has already built up. Detecting discoloration is truly difficult, not to mention that the beginnings of cavities on the inner side are difficult to see at all.

What is the difference between decalcification of milk teeth and permanent teeth?

Demineralization of teeth can have various causes. Decalcification of deciduous teeth is often connected to hormonal changes, although in both cases (permanent and deciduous teeth), demineralization of teeth most often results from non-compliance with the rules of oral hygiene.

At this point, it is also worth paying attention to another aspect. If the decalcification of the deciduous tooth does not turn into caries, then after the tooth has fallen out, the problem can be considered solved in a sense. Neglecting decalcifications on permanent teeth, however, is a simple way to create foci of caries on multiple teeth.

Symptoms of tooth decalcification

Symptoms of tooth decalcification are not always obvious and in many cases can be easily overlooked

  • The first and most specific sign indicating the enamel mineral loss is the characteristic white spots on the surface of the tooth. They are usually 1-3 millimeters in diameter and are very bright.
  • After some time, the spots may become tangible. This is a sign that tooth decalcification has already gone so far that the enamel structure undergoes permanent reconstruction.
  • Sometimes decalcification is accompanied by tooth hypersensitivity. Teeth can become sensitive to cold, heat, or pressure. However, this is not a specific symptom, because it also occurs with other problems. It also does not occur in the case of all patients.

The progressive decalcification of teeth leads to the formation of classic cavities with all the consequences: strong hypersensitivity, pain, and often an unpleasant smell from the mouth.

Decalcification of teeth – causes

Decalcification of teeth is one of those cases in which, even knowing the causes and symptoms, it can be difficult to avoid such a condition. The direct cause of the problems is the fact that the amorphous calcium phosphate, which builds up the enamel, slowly loses calcium ions. But what could lead to this?

  • There is a genetic component in this puzzle that is responsible for the rate of enamel remineralization. However, it should be emphasized that it is not possible to base tooth demineralization solely on genetic factors.
  • The primary cause of decalcification is local acidification, which occurs when the bacterial plaque, or rather the bacteria that make it up, secrete acidic metabolic products.
  • This leads to the root cause of the problem: poor oral hygiene. Failure to remove the bacterial plaque from the surface of the teeth, avoiding teeth brushing. They all lead to the growth of bacterial flora.

Teeth crowding or certain systemic diseases, including possible hypothyroidism, may also increase the risk of decalcification. However, the above themselves do not cause this phenomenon.

Decalcification of teeth – treatment

●     Removing causes

Removing the causes of decalcification comes down to teaching the patient how to take care of oral hygiene and the topical administration of remineralizing agents. Fluoride varnish can also be used at home, but only after consulting a doctor, because agents with a high concentration of fluoride have certain effects.

●     Removing symptoms

The smallest white spot lesions may disappear on their own, but in most cases, they are removed from the enamel surface during caries treatment. In advanced cases, caries infiltration with special resin-based substances is used.

What is the difference between the treatment of tooth decalcification in children and adults?

The basic rules are unchanged, while frequent administration of high fluoride products is avoided in the treatment of children. Milk teeth are more susceptible to decalcification, but because they fall out relatively quickly, there is less risk of white spots becoming carious foci.

In the case of adults, the use of stronger products is allowed, but in both cases, the first goal of treatment is to get rid of plaque.

Why should tooth decalcification not be ignored?

While tooth decalcification itself is not very serious, it is the first stage in the development of carious lesions. Since it will not go away on its own, teeth protection at this stage allows you to protect yourself from the consequences of caries and the costs of its treatment.

What other diseases can teeth decalcification be confused with?

The white spots themselves are a characteristic symptom, while pain and hypersensitivity are not. Then, a full examination of the oral health condition is necessary to determine the disease type.

An experienced dentist will not confuse decalcification with other diseases, but for a non-specialist, the symptoms will often be so subtle that they can be easily mistaken.

How to take care of your teeth to prevent decalcification

It is worth taking care of the condition of your teeth by scheduling regular hygienizing procedures. However, basic dental care starts in the bathroom.

  • Brush your teeth properly, and use dental floss, irrigators, and rinses.
  • Visit the dentist regularly and self-monitor your oral health.
  • Switch to a balanced diet that will not provide a breeding ground for bacteria and will not promote plaque development.
  • Remember about maintaining more thorough hygiene with orthodontic braces or dentures.
  • In consultation with the dentist, rinses and other substances rich in calcium or phosphorus ions can be used prophylactically.
  • Regularly visit the dentist to remove tartar and plaque, which will provide cleaner teeth and allow you to notice the changes associated with decalcification faster.

In order not to damage the enamel, remember to limit the number of teeth whitening procedures and carry them out only under the supervision of a dentist. It is also worth seeking the advice of an orthodontist if you find yourself grinding your teeth.

Book an appointment at the best dental office

At HCentrum, we will provide you with comprehensive care at every stage. If you notice signs of decalcification, or if you want to make sure that they are not there, book an appointment. We will perform an oral health check and create an individual prevention and treatment plan that will help you enjoy a healthy smile for longer!