What is decalcification?
Decalcification is the loss of calcium from the bones or teeth.
What causes decalcification in my teeth?
Tooth decalcification is caused by the excessive build up of plaque on the tooth enamel. Eventually, such decalcification will cause cavities. Often, children with braces will develop significant decalcification around the brackets, creating a picture frame effect when the braces are removed. It can also be caused by improper oral care, resulting in excessive plaque around the gum line on the enamel, and therefore decalcification.
How can I identify decalcification on my teeth or my child's teeth?
Dental cavities usually show up at first as chalky white spots on the tooth enamel, which indicates the decalcification process. It is a good idea to improve oral hygiene at the onset of such white spots in order to avoid irreversible damage.
What can I do to prevent decalcification?
Is decalcification reversible?
It depends. At the onset of tooth decalcification, before a cavity has progressed to its fullest, white spots on the enamel may be strengthened and reversed with a much increased oral hygeine program. However, eventually, if not treated, decalcification will progress into stained, dark lesions called cavities. Cavities are irreversible.
How can my dentist help?
We recommend that you come into the office every three months or so to have a routine dental checkup as well as a routine cleaning. Your dentist will be able to identify whether your oral hygeine habits are sufficient enough to prevent excessive plaque buildup, and your dentist may also recommend additional measures, such as brushing with fluoride, in order to prevent tooth decalcification.
In closing, noticing decalcification on your tooth enamel is a warning sign that you need to maintain a better degree of oral care. An in-office cleaning is a very good start to increasing your dental program, and we may be able to recommend further action to reverse the damage that decalcifcation has caused. Should you wish to come into the office for a routine cleaning, or should you have any further questions, please call our offices at 888.790.0309.