Friday, June 22, 2007

who knew?

This post is for the edification of anyone who searches the internet super highway for “white spots on teeth after dental work” or perhaps “dehydrated teeth.” Yes, that’s right, dehydrated teeth. I spent 2 hours and 45 minutes in a dental chair this morning (which wasn’t great but actually worked out ok and since it was a replacement of an existing restoration they didn’t charge me, which made it seem even better than it was), much of the time with a dental dam in my mouth leaving only 6 teeth exposed. When I got home and looked in the mirror I noticed the ends of those teeth had large very white areas on them, much like fluorosis spots. I wasn’t particularly worried but they had used so many different things in my mouth that I wondered if something could be amiss. So, I called my dentist’s office and asked the receptionist if she knew what this could be. Well, yes, she said she did. My teeth had been exposed so long without saliva that they were dehydrated. If the spots aren’t gone by early next week then call back and they may feel a bit sensitive to cold until they re-hydrate with saliva.

I was, and still am, a bit surprised and struck by this. Teeth can become dehydrated. I had the answer but was curious what the internet would have told me had I not just picked up the phone. I tried a number of searches and only found reference to fluorosis, mainly in children, and discussions about teeth whitening products. Apparently teeth whitening chemicals can also dehydrate teeth, which makes them look whiter temporarily and leaves them more sensitive. I did not find any mention of teeth becoming dehydrated and therefore getting white spots after exposure to air for longish periods of time. So, there you are, good people. Not to worry if dental work or any other long exposure of your teeth leaves them with white spots. They are simply lacking in needed saliva hydration and will return to normal shortly. Carry on.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just did searches for "white spot on tooth" and "teeth dehydration" after I just whitened my teeth at home and was like "whaaaat?" after I saw the white spot. And your site came up. Good to know! lol. Thanks :)

11/29/2007 11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've noticed this on 3 of my teeth at the front. My dentist says its dehydration from frquent flying as the air on the plane is very dry. I thought it sounded weird so I thought I'd check it out on the internet.

12/18/2007 4:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I woke up this morning after an incredibly restless night with flu to discover my front three teeth had a very odd white patch that matches my lip line. I was initially worried that my flu had somehow spread to my teeth but after searching the net and reading your blog i'm pretty sure that i've got dehydrated teeth... A big relief to find this out. Thanks for your blog, i'm off to drink my body weight in water..try to see if i can get saliva flowing again! Thanks

2/18/2008 4:48 AM  
Anonymous msskeeta said...

Brilliant! Just freaked out about my white "tideline" after a night spent catching flies due to a chock-a-block nose. Thanks for the info... saves an expensive visit to the dentist.

3/10/2010 4:41 AM  
Blogger DiRon said...

Wow, thanks a lot this was the answer I needed. I had a dental this morning, over two hours long with a dental dam. Afterwards I went to the restroom to check my face for debris and had a WTH moment when I saw one of my canines had white on the tip. I even rubbed it a few times. Lol, I knew it wasnt there before and kept asking myself what did they do to my tooth! Thanks again.

11/09/2010 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today I was in the dental chair for over an hour with a vacuum and heat lamp in my mouth to set invisalign applicators to my teeth, when I looked in the mirror afterwards, ahhhh my front 6 teeth had gone chalky white. I asked why are there white marks on my teeth is that left over resin? The dental assistant just shrugged and said well, we didn't even touch those teeth... Very very upset, once in the car, I chucked a bit of a tanty. An hour later, I braved the mirror again, they looked alright but after 1 second they changed in front of my eyes back into this white chalky yuckiness. I rang the dentist 5 hours later and asked, she said that was very unusual and to ring back if I wasn't back to normal in a few days. Thank goodness for your post and everyone else's stories, my teeth will go back to normal, they just need a little time and saliva. Thank you so much!

4/10/2014 1:03 AM  

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