3 Reasons Your Teeth Look Polka-Dotted

As you go about your busy day, the last thing you might have time for is your teeth. Unfortunately, if your teeth look uneven or mottled, it could make other people wonder what is wrong with your mouth. Here are three reasons your teeth look polka-dotted, and what you can do to fix the problem:

1: Uneven Whitening

Your at-home whitening kit might have seemed like a good idea, but it could be making your teeth look like a mess. If bleaching gel isn't applied evenly, it could whiten some areas more than others, which could destroy the look you are going for. Here are a few tips for whitening your teeth evenly:

  • Brush First: Bleaching gel can only whiten surfaces it can touch, which means that those kale leaves stuck in your teeth could alter your whitening results. To give whitening gel the opportunity to do its job, brush your teeth before you whiten them. 
  • Lower Concentrations: If you are like most people, you might like the idea of whitening once in awhile with a powerful gel. Unfortunately, if you use a strong concentration, it might be more difficult to achieve an even result. If that strong gel gathers between your teeth or gums up in certain areas, you might be left looking at spots. Instead, whiten more frequently with a less powerful gel.
  • Watch Those Edges: The thinner parts of your teeth will whiten faster, which means that you shouldn't slather edges with whitening gel. Use a Q-tip to apply whitening gel so that you can control where it goes.

Instead of whitening your teeth on your own, discuss your options with your dentist. He or she can create custom trays that fit around your teeth perfectly, and prescribe the right gel formulation to improve your results.

2: Exposure to Pool Water

Have you ever wondered why Olympic swimmers wear mouth guards? Since swimming laps isn't exactly a contact sport, you may have thought those guards were all show. However, although swimming might be great for your body, it can destroy your teeth.

If the pH of the pool is too low, the water can eat away at your dental enamel and cause tooth decay. Unfortunately, if the pH of the pool is too high, it can interfere with the proteins in your mouth and cause hard yellowish-brown deposits to form on the surface of your teeth. This phenomenon is referred to as "swimmer's mouth," and it can lead to an unsightly smile.

To avoid a mottled mouth, talk with your dentist about designing a custom mouth guard. These watertight devices can limit your teeth's exposure to pool water, so that they can stay beautiful.

3: Early Tooth Decay 

What do you think of when you picture dental decay? If you are like most people, you might imagine teeth loaded with tartar and large, black cavities. However, what most people don't realize is that before that slimy gaping hole develops, it looks like an innocent white spot.

Unfortunately, if your teeth are filled with little white dots, it could be a sign of demineralization, or early tooth decay. White spot lesions are areas where bacteria has invaded through the enamel and started to eat away at the inside of your tooth. The area appears lighter because it refracts light differently than the surrounding tissue.

If you have white spots on your teeth, talk with your dentist as soon as possible. After evaluating your condition, your dentist at a place like Family Dental Center TriCities, PC can determine a course of action to help your teeth to re-mineralize. By using fluoride therapy, your dentist can correct the problem before your teeth are destroyed from the inside out.   

Understanding the causes of mottled teeth might help you to address the problem early, so that you can leave the house without worrying about your teeth.