Why Do My Child’s Teeth Have White Spots on Them?

child smiling with crooked teeth

White teeth are healthy teeth, right? Generally, yes. However, white spots on teeth could be a sign of a serious problem known as Turner’s Tooth.

Turner’s Tooth

Turner’s Tooth, also called Turner’s Hypoplasia, is a condition that reduces a tooth’s enamel thickness, increases tooth sensitivity, leaves the affected tooth more susceptible to decay, and results in an unsightly appearance, according to Contemporary Clinical Dentistry. It typically affects the permanent teeth and appears as white or yellow spots on the tooth surface. It can be caused by infection or trauma when a child still has his baby teeth.

Trauma injury to a baby tooth is usually the cause of Turner’s Tooth in front teeth. The injured tooth gets pushed into the developing permanent tooth underneath it and interferes with the permanent tooth’s enamel formation.

The greatest incidence of trauma to the primary teeth is in children between ages 2 and 3 whose motor coordination still is developing, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Falls are the most common cause of tooth trauma, followed by traffic accidents. Traumatic injuries to baby teeth affect up to 30 percent of children.

Turner’s Tooth in back teeth tends to be caused by infection when a baby tooth was still in the mouth. Most likely, heavy decay was present in the baby tooth, which led to tissue inflammation around the tooth root that affected permanent tooth development, the CCD article states.

Early Detection

Although Turner’s Tooth is a serious condition, luckily, only one tooth typically is affected. Detecting the problem early so it can be managed properly at the earliest stage helps increase the likelihood of preventing disease in the tooth pulp.

There are treatments that address the unfavorable side effects of Turner’s Tooth. We can restore the affected enamel by bonding a tooth-colored material to the tooth surface, which protects it from wear and sensitivity. For patients who experience tooth sensitivity, fluoride treatments help reduce sensitivity and help prevent cavities. Our dental professionals also offer instruction on proper oral hygiene techniques to promote healthy teeth.

Please call our office to schedule an appointment if you have noticed white or yellow spots on your child’s teeth. The sooner interceptive treatment is provided, the greater the chances are of saving the tooth.

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