Teeth are known for being opaque, so what does it mean if they’re translucent around the edges? Everyone always talks about all the ways you can whiten your teeth, but no one talks about translucent teeth – is it normal to have them, then? The answer is: no. It isn’t normal to have translucent teeth, and if you do, you should consult with your dentist in order to prevent the condition from worsening and preserve your oral health.
Translucent teeth mean that your teeth have lost enamel. This can cause your teeth to be see-through on edges. Left untreated, this can lead to further oral health problems, such as chipping and discoloration.
Here’s what you need to know about translucent teeth, what causes them, their symptoms, how they’re treated, and what you can do to prevent them.
What Causes Translucent Teeth?
There are many potential causes of translucent teeth, but they all have one thing in common: enamel erosion. Enamel is what protects your teeth and helps give them that pearly white look. It can break down due to various health conditions, foods, and drinks, which then causes your teeth to start looking transparent as the enamel wears off.
Some causes of translucent teeth include:
- Celiac Disease. This is an autoimmune disease that can result in poor enamel development, ergo, teeth with translucency.
- Enamel Hypoplasia. This is a genetic condition that leads to thin enamel, due to hypomineralization.
- Acid Reflux. This is another health condition that can cause translucent teeth due to the frequent exposure to stomach acid. This can escalate into Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, which can worsen the state of your tooth enamel.
- Frequent Vomiting. Either from pregnancy, bulimia, alcoholism, or another condition, the exposure to stomach acid, as mentioned above, can wear down your tooth enamel.
- Dry Mouth. This can also lead to translucent teeth, and can be caused by aging, medications, and health conditions, such as diabetes.
- Acidic Foods And Drinks. Regularly consuming acidic foods and drinks, such as sodas and citrus fruits, can speed up your enamel’s erosion.
Regardless of the cause, translucent teeth are not something to take lightly, as they can lead to further health issues. It’s important to talk to your dentist about your translucent teeth, as they will be able to help you with remineralization, treatments, and prevention.
Since if your teeth are translucent it means that your enamel has been affected, there are several symptoms associated with translucent teeth, even before the condition becomes visible.
Some common symptoms that occur with translucent teeth include:
- Tooth sensitivity/toothaches
- Dry mouth
- Canker sores
- Visual changes, such as translucency
There are several treatment options for translucent teeth. While there are some products on the market that claim to restore your enamel, unfortunately, this isn’t possible. Once your enamel is gone, you can’t get it back. You can however have translucent teeth treated.
Some of the treatment methods for translucent teeth include:
- Bonding. This is when your dentist applies a composite resin to the surface of your affected teeth. It helps make them appear more opaque and also provides a hardened, protective layer in order to prevent further enamel erosion.
- Veneers. You can also get veneers, which act as a protective shield on your tooth. Since veneers are attached to the surface of your teeth by removing some enamel, they can also prevent erosion by taking its place.
- Crowns. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to get a crown over your translucent tooth in order to protect and preserve the structure.
If you have a condition such as celiac disease, it would be hard to prevent translucent teeth. However, even so, there are steps that you can take in order to prevent translucent teeth. The best way to prevent any oral health issue is through practicing proper oral hygiene. This is brushing twice daily, flossing once daily, and going to your regular dental cleanings, as well as having any necessary work done, such as getting cavities filled.
That said, there are more steps you can take in order to protect your tooth enamel, such as:
- Drinking water. Drinking enough water will help prevent dry mouth, wash away acids, and keep your saliva from thinning.
- Boosting/thickening saliva. Your saliva helps to fight bacteria and forms a protective coating over your teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum can boost your saliva production, which can ergo help protect your enamel.
- Use a straw for acidic beverages. In addition to limiting the amount of acidic foods and beverages you consume, using a straw can also minimize how much acid your teeth are exposed to.
- Manage acid reflux. If you struggle with acid reflux, avoiding acidic foods can help with both it and keeping your teeth opaque.
These are but a few of the things you can do to prevent translucent teeth. If you would like more tips, please don’t hesitate to ask your dentist.
Do You Have Translucent Teeth?
Avenues Dentistry is here to help. Whether you’re just trying to prevent your teeth from getting translucent or whether you need treatment, our dentists offer an array of services, such as professional cleanings and veneers, that can help. Contact us today!