If you notice the edges of your teeth becoming see-through, or the color of your teeth corners is fading away, then you might be experiencing something called translucent teeth. In this article, we help you understand why you have such teeth, suggest the available treatment options and how you can prevent it.
What Are Symptoms of Translucent Teeth?
The tooth’s outer layer is called enamel. It is a thin, semi-transparent layer that fully covers the tooth up till the edge. The inner layer of tooth structure is dentin, pale yellow in color, is a major component of the tooth.
If the enamel starts to wear away, you will notice the edge of your teeth is becoming bluish, pale and sometimes see-through. That’s a sign of translucent teeth, which is caused by the enamel erosion. And if the enamel erosion continues, your teeth will suffer from pain and sensitivity while having hot or cold drink.
What Causes Translucent Teeth?
- Enamel hypoplasia: This condition is normally genetic. The enamel is defective while growing, thus becoming thin and weak. In this case, the enamel can get easily eroded, and then show the appearance of translucent teeth. Enamel hypoplasia can be found both in primary and permanent teeth.
- Acidic food and drinks: Compared to acidic environment, the alkaline one is better for healthy teeth. If you always have acidic food or drink, like citric fruits and soft drinks, your teeth is easier to be worn off. That’s can lead to the semi-transparent teeth.
- Acidic reflux: As mentioned above, an oral cavity with an acidic environment can eventually lead to enamel erosion and translucent teeth. People with frequent exposure to stomach acids such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD can be at risk of wearing down their enamel layer.
- Celiac disease: More commonly known as gluten intolerance, it is an autoimmune disease that people cannot consume gluten, otherwise their intestines will be damaged. People with this condition will have poorly developed enamel that looks chipped and transparent.
- Dry mouth: Aging, some medical conditions and medications can lead to dry mouth which worsens enamel erosion.
How to Treat Translucent Teeth?
Composite bonding is a non-invasive and affordable choice. The tooth will be coated with a layer of dental composite to make it look like a normal tooth in color and shape. It can be achieved in one-time dental treatment, thus pretty common among patients.
Veneers use a thin porcelain shell placed over the front teeth, in order to cover teeth discoloration. This is usually done in two visits. At the first visit, a scan of your teeth is taken. In some cases, the dentist might need to remove a little of the enamel layer, no more than 0.3mm. And in the second visit, the veneer will be glued to your front teeth after making sure it is in perfect alignment with the neighboring teeth.
Crown is a full coverage option that completely cover the teeth discoloration. Your dentist will need to remove some of your tooth structure in order to properly place the crowns. So it is more invasive compared to other treatment options.
How to Prevent Translucent Teeth?
You need to visit your dentist to find what causes this oral condition, as this will help manage your condition better.
Improving your diet is very important. This can be achieved by limiting acidic food and beverages, as well as drinking more water daily. Using a straw while drinking sodas can help lessen the acidity of your mouth.
If you are suffering from repeated vomiting episodes or GERD, we encourage visiting your family doctor for more direct treatment. After an acidic reflux episode, we would recommend that rinse your mouth with water immediately and delay brushing your teeth by half an hour.
--- By Dr. Aisha I A Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh since 2019. She graduated from Tripoli University in 2016. She works as a general practitioner with special interest in Implantology.