Why are my teeth see-through? And what can I do about it?

Have you ever looked closely at your teeth and noticed that they appear to be different shades and even translucent (see-through) in places?

There are three main reasons your teeth may be turning translucent, keep reading to find out what they are, and ultimately what you can do to help protect your teeth.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a disease in which the small intestine is hypersensitive to gluten, leading to difficulty in digesting food. A lot of people imagine that celiac disease only involves gastrointestinal problems, but it can also include issues in tooth enamel developing properly.

People with this condition often have teeth with translucent portions, pitting or banding. Other oral symptoms may include dry mouth, recurrent canker sores or atrophic glossitis (a red, shiny tongue).

Enamel Hypoplasia

Enamel hypoplasia affects the teeth during development, and it can occur in both baby teeth and adult teeth.

People with this have a weak, thin or chalky enamel that gives their teeth a translucent appearance, and the little enamel they have wears away quickly. In a few instances, the tooth forms without any enamel, leaving the dentin (the layer underneath the enamel of a tooth) completely exposed.

Acid Erosion

When you regularly consume highly acidic foods or drinks, you increase your risk of enamel wearing away prematurely. Additionally, when you bleach your teeth to the point of wearing away your enamel, you may find yourself with translucent teeth.

We recently wrote an article listing the Top 10 teeth staining foods, which goes into a lot more detail in regards to the negative effects of acidity on teeth.

Can I Stop This From Happening?

Oral Hygiene is the greatest preventative measure against some of the possible causes for this. You can’t brush your way out of a genetic disorder, but if you are developing translucent teeth from acid in what you consume, you can fight it there.

Rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash after exposure to any acidic foods can help to reduce the amount of damage that they do to your teeth. For more complete prevention, try avoiding those foods and drinks, such as soda, acidic fruits like lemons and other foods with acid in it.

Can Enamel Grow Back?

Tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the body, however, it cannot be naturally regenerated. BUT certain dental products can help with strengthening tooth enamel.

“You can’t regrow tooth enamel, but you can remineralize it,” says Mark Wolff, a professor of Dentistry at New York University. “That’s what these [toothpastes] actually do… They push calcium and phosphates back into the tooth, and it hardens the enamel.”

Be sure to look out for toothpaste or mouthwash which contains fluoride. While acid draws calcium and phosphates out of teeth, fluoride captures the minerals from saliva and forces them back into the tooth.

Treatments for Translucency

If you are to take one thing away from reading this article, please let it be to contact your dentist if you are experiencing any of the discussed symptoms. The longer you wait, the more you risk losing enamel and more severe the erosion can become.

It is more than likely that the dentist will be able to treat and fix the issue using one of the following methods:

  • Composite bonding
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Crowns

Contact us to book a consultation on 01509 231 144, or send us a message on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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