Small White Spots On Your Teeth After Whitening: A Warning Sign You Can't Ignore

The success of an at-home teeth whitening treatment depends on one basic principle—that your teeth are already quite healthy (aside from their color, of course). You need to have healthy dental enamel because the outer surfaces of your teeth are the only part of your smile that will be whitened. There can't be any patches of thin enamel that have lost some of their calcium content. The trouble is, you may not know about thin enamel until after you've tried to whiten your teeth. 

Small White Spots

Thin and generally deficient enamel may take the form of small, isolated white spots on the surfaces of your teeth. Prior to whitening, these spots more-or-less blended into their background, so you may not have noticed them. As the whitening gel's active ingredient (hydrogen peroxide) penetrated the pores of your dental enamel and began to progressively remove stains, your patches of deficient enamel reacted differently. This means that those white spots have become more obvious.

Demineralization of Your Teeth

These white spots can have a number of different causes but are typically the beginnings of cavities. As the surface enamel on your teeth has begun to corrode in places, the demineralization of your teeth has led to these patches forming. They may be reversed at this early stage, but without treatment, corrosion will deepen. Your enamel will then be penetrated, and the tooth will have a cavity that must be filled. Does this mean that you shouldn't (or can't) whiten your teeth?

Cosmetic Dentistry

You can't whiten your teeth at home—that much is certain. The results would be irregular and not all that predictable. You're better off making an appointment at a cosmetic dental clinic for assistance. A cosmetic dentist can easily conceal any surface inconsistencies in your dental enamel by literally covering them—using tooth bonding, a dental veneer, or even a dental crown. A dentist will want to preserve the tooth's natural structure as much as possible, so your issue would benefit from a dual process.

Simultaneous Treatments

A cosmetic dentist can perform enamel micro-abrasion coupled with the simultaneous application of a whitening gel. Using a dental bur, a small amount of the tooth's surface will be gently sanded away to create an even surface. Your dentist then whitens your teeth to balance their overall shade. Finally, your teeth will need fluoride treatment to reverse the demineralization that caused the issue in the first place.

Small, isolated white spots on your teeth after whitening at home are a clear sign that your dental enamel isn't strong enough to undergo whitening. You can still whiten your teeth, but you'll need some simultaneous supplemental treatments to preserve the health of your teeth.

Contact a local cosmetic dentist clinic to learn more.