Among all the health issues your patients might bring up during an oral health exam, translucent teeth might be among them. Here’s how to explain what patients need to know about translucent teeth in patient-friendly language:
Do your teeth look translucent? If the biting edges of your teeth are beginning to appear glass-like, it’s natural to feel worried. Truth be told, transparent or translucent teeth can still occur even if you take the best care of your teeth.
Therefore, we suggest taking the time to learn what causes this oral health problem to prevent translucent teeth from happening in the first place.
Reasons Why Your Teeth Appear More Clear
Your tooth enamel is the thin protective shell of your tooth. Although tooth enamel is the strongest tissue found in the human body, it’s not invincible. As your enamel wears, it can lead to a more translucent appearance.
Furthermore, certain medical conditions contribute to poor enamel development and overall weak tooth enamel:
Enamel hypoplasia is a hereditary oral health condition, and it is a somewhat common phenomenon, affecting 1 in 14,000 Americans.
Unluckily, patients with this medical condition can anticipate quick and continuous enamel loss. Your dentist might identify enamel hypoplasia if you show signs of thin, weak enamel with a waxy appearance.
Whether you suffer from acid reflux, morning sickness, or an eating disorder, you should pay close attention to your smile. Teeth that are constantly exposed to highly corrosive stomach acid and bile. Consequently, medical conditions that evoke frequent vomiting lead to enamel erosion.
For instance, the cases of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (known as GERD or acid reflux) in children and adults are steadily increasing. In preliminary animal and human trials, substantial evidence supports the relationship between enamel erosion and GERD.
So, if you suffer from GERD and frequent nausea, work with your dentist and your general doctor to manage the destructive consequences (for example, thin enamel) of these health conditions.
Celiac disease is a chronic immune and digestive disorder that wreaks havoc on the small intestine. Typically, foods containing the protein gluten trigger patients who have celiac disease. Furthermore, people with this medical condition might struggle to receive adequate nutrition since many foods are off the table.
Even though a common misconception about celiac disease is that it exclusively impacts the gastrointestinal tract, this is far from the truth. Surprisingly, celiac disease can be the main culprit behind poor enamel development. Sufferers might experience pitting, banding, or transparency in their teeth.
Another reason you might suffer from translucent teeth as dry mouth, which is arrested saliva production. This could be a side effect of getting older, medications, or certain health conditions.
Chewing sugar-free gum is a simple way to increase saliva production, stabilize oral pH, and facilitate enamel remineralization.
Acidic Foods and Beverages
Regularly consuming highly acidic foods and beverages accelerates enamel erosion, causing transparent teeth. Some acidic beverages that consume include coffee, carbonated beverages, and lemonade. Acidic foods to be mindful of include citrus fruits, dairy products, and foods with refined sugars and artificial sweeteners.
It’s best to consume these types of food in moderation. Can’t stay away from acidic food? Then, instill the habit of rinsing your mouth directly afterward.
When to Contact Your Dentist
As soon as you notice the early warning signs of transparent teeth, it’s wise to contact your dentist. Addressing this oral health problem head-on may reduce the risk of further complications. Here’s what to look out for:
Generally, one of the first signs of this health condition is transparency at the biting edges of the teeth, yellowing, and dental fractures. As the edges of your teeth weaken, they might start to feel rough or jagged.
As your enamel breaks down, it’s likely that your affected teeth might feel more sensitive. This modifies the entire tooth structure by exposing the underlying dentin layer.
Consequently, you might suffer from an acute toothache when exposing your transparent teeth to extreme temperatures and sweet, spicy, and acidic foods and beverages.
Recurrent Canker Sores
A canker sore is a shallow, noncontagious sore that appears inside the mouth. Coincidentally, the same acid that wears away tooth enamel can trigger recurrent canker sores.
The relationship between dry mouth and translucent teeth is a real “chicken or the egg” scenario. While it’s true that a dry mouth can induce enamel erosion, acid erosion can dehydrate your mouth.
How to Fix Translucent Teeth
After proactively seeking treatment, your dentist might recommend various techniques to repair translucent teeth, such as:
Your dentist can repair and strengthen enamel by filling the teeth with a simple solution composed of calcium phosphate, sodium fluoride, and Recaldent™.
Composite resin is a polymer-based dental cement used to conceal the translucent portions of your enamel.
During this non-invasive procedure, your dentist color matches composite resin to your teeth. Then, he or she molds, shapes, and bonds composite resin, revealing an improved smile thanks to dental bonding.
Generally, a dental veneer is a composite or hard porcelain shell securely attached to the front of a tooth. These thin shells famously deliver the”Hollywood Smile” look by hiding gaps, discoloration, and other cosmetic flaws.
Aside from serving as an aesthetic solution, ceramic and composite veneers can protect natural teeth from further erosion.
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps designed to protect and restore a tooth. A dental crown can be metal, porcelain, or ceramic.
A dental professional will first prepare the tooth if you need a dental crown due to excessive damage. Then, he or she will comfortably fit this restoration over your remaining tooth structure.
How to Prevent Enamel Erosion
In almost all of life’s scenarios, it’s much better to prevent a problem than solve it. You can prevent the development of enamel damage and transparent teeth by:
- Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day
- Scheduling regular dental cleanings
- Managing canker sores, sensitivity, and other oral symptoms
- Boosting saliva production by chewing more sugar-free gum and drinking more water
- Drinking with a straw
- Consuming a balanced diet
There’s More Than One Way to Keep Your Teeth Healthy
While being fully aware of how translucent teeth develop helps save your teeth from this specific kind of extensive damage, there are other ways to improve your oral health between dental visiting, including clear aligner therapy.
At Orthosnap, we care about helping providers offer quality care to their patients by improving their dental health. Find out how you can better support your patients’ oral health by becoming an Orthosnap provider.