If you've noticed the presence of white spots on the surface of your teeth, you'll want to call and make an appointment with your dentist. These spots can be indicative of many things, from the presence of tartar to the decalcification of your tooth enamel. Here's a look at a few potential causes and treatments you might expect for these spots.

Tartar – If the white spots on your teeth are formed by tartar buildup, you'll need to get a professional dental cleaning. Tartar buildup is created when you don't brush plaque away in a timely manner, and it can resemble white spots on the surface of your teeth. Your dentist may need to do a tartar scrape if you have any accumulation under your gum line, too.

Fluorosis – Fluorosis is a condition that is marked by too much fluoride consumption. It often causes white spots to form on the surface of your teeth. While you can't eliminate this condition, bleaching is one way to reduce the appearance of the spots. In cases of severe spots and discoloration, you may want to consider veneers.

Hypoplasia – As your teeth are growing, they naturally form the protective enamel coating over the surface. Sometimes, in a condition known as hypoplasia, that enamel doesn't form properly or is unusually thin. If this is the case for you, your dentist might suggest that you bleach the surface of your teeth to create a uniform appearance. If the enamel is thin enough to be a long-term concern, you may want to have the teeth protected by applying veneers or a resin treatment.

Decalcification – Decalcification is a process of drawing calcium out of your tooth enamel, leaving white calcium deposits behind. This can happen as a result of bacteria left by poor brushing or from wearing braces. Fluoride treatments will help protect the teeth, but there's no way to eliminate the spots if they occur due to this type of problem. Just keep a close watch on them, because they may be more likely to decay. If the problem is severe, your dentist might suggest that you cover your teeth with veneers or other protective coatings to reduce the risk of long-term damage.

Don't let bothersome white spots leave you feeling like you can't smile. Talk with your dentist today to identify the source of the problem and address it. With the information here, you'll be able to approach the appointment with some understanding of what the problem could be. For more details about this and other dental conditions, check out sites like http://www.davidjacksondds.com.