woman covering mouth

At Southeast Family Dental, we get a lot of patient questions, and we take each question seriously. Recently, a patient submitted this online question: “When my front tooth was first growing in, I bumped into a metal pole. When it finally grew in, it had a big, white spot on it. It is not a stain, but over 10 years later, it is just as bright and in the same shape. I was just wondering if it could be like a dent?”

We at Southeast Family Dental understand this patient’s concern. The first thing most people notice about a person is their smile. However, if you have a noticeable white spot on your tooth, it can make you self-conscious as well as concerned that the white spot may indicate a bigger problem.

In this particular situation, the white spot on the patient’s tooth could be from:

  • Trauma to a baby tooth which the patient didn’t know about. This trauma could have caused a problem with the formation of the patient’s permanent tooth known as enamel hypocalcification. When a tooth is disturbed during its formation, abnormal enamel may form. What this means is, during the tooth’s formation, normal amounts of enamel are produced, but the enamel is hypomineralized—it contains less calcium. This defect causes the enamel to be softer than normal and the tooth’s surface to be discolored – hence, the white spot in this patient’s case.
  • When the patient traumatized the tooth when they hit the pole; however, this normally doesn’t cause white spots to form.

How can white spots be removed?

Depending on the depth of the enamel discoloration, your dentist has a few treatment options to remove or cover the affected area.

  1. If the discoloration is light, your dentist may be able to polish off a surface-level spot with a mild abrasive. Or, your dentist may bleach your teeth so they’re the same color.
  2. If the discoloration is deep, your dentist may apply a tooth-colored filling or composite resin to repair the discolored tooth. Or, for larger surfaces, your dentist can conceal the white spot using porcelain to restore the overall look of your smile.

Don’t let white spots due to trauma or enamel hypocalcification ruin your smile. Give our team at Southeast Family Dental a call at (317) 359-8000 to schedule an appointment to talk about how we can give you back your dazzling smile.