Why is my teeth transparent? 7 reasons why and how to solve it

People are often curious and ask “why is my teeth transparent?” when their teeth look translucent. When teeth become transparent, it is an obvious sign of enamel degradation or damage. Dental enamel depletion may happen due to various dental issues so it is better to know the real cause. There are plenty of ways to treat it if the damage is excessive and if teeth look unattractive. Here are some of the most common causes of transparent teeth:

What makes teeth turn translucent or clear?

The main reason why teeth turn translucent or clear is enamel damage or thinning. Dental enamel is the topmost layer on teeth that protects them from damage. Thinning of the enamel gives teeth an unattractive look and dulls the beauty of a smile. Here is what you must know if you are facing this issue and asking yourself why are my teeth transparent?

Chronic Acid Reflux

GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is a chronic digestive disorder. In this disease, the stomach acid instead of staying in the stomach travels to the esophagus. The esophagus is a tube that connects your throat with your stomach. Acid regurgitation is a common symptom of GERD that can cause many issues for your oral health. When the acid touches your mouth, again and again, it causes damage to the enamel and it starts to get thin. Thinning of the enamel makes the teeth look translucent or transparent. Studies also show a high prevalence of enamel erosion among people with GERD. 

Harsh brushing 

Enamel erosion can also happen due to rigorous brushing with hard-bristled brushes. As a result, teeth start looking opaque in color and take away the brightness of your teeth. To avoid harsh brushing, choose brushes with soft bristles and be gentle on your teeth. Moreover, use less harsh products on your teeth to avoid damaging your enamel.

Celiac Disease

It is an auto-immune disease that affects an individual’s gut. In this condition, a person suffers from an inability to digest gluten. The immune system attacks its cell tissues when a person consumes gluten. According to research, it causes a partial or complete loss of enamel. Loss of enamel makes teeth look transparent and clear in appearance. 

Perpetual Vomiting

Stomach acids can damage the enamel if there is constant acid regurgitation. Constant vomiting can also lead to enamel loss because of stomach acids in the mouth. Vomiting is unavoidable in pregnancy, or with medical conditions like bulimia or anorexia. In such situations, enamel loss is a natural response and one cannot do much to avoid it.

Strong Medications

Sometimes enamel loss occurs due to certain strong medicines. Some of those medicines include tetracycline, antacids, anti-depressants, and blood pressure medicines. Enamel loss is more common among people who use these drugs for longer than 6 months. 

Enamel Hypoplasia

This is a natural condition in which the body is unable to make enough amount of enamel. It is more common among children than adults. Lack of enamel leads to oral issues including sensitivity, cavities, and translucent teeth. Dentists recommend fluoride treatments to preserve and improve the enamel. 

Excessive Use of Peroxide

Sometimes certain substances or ingredients also damage the enamel. The whitening ingredient, hydrogen peroxide can also deplete the enamel with excessive usage. Thus, it is important to consult your dentist before using peroxide products. 

How to fix Transparent Teeth?

If your teeth have turned transparent because of enamel loss, the good news is that you can fix them. There are many treatments available to conceal transparent teeth:

Dental veneers to conceal transparent teeth

One of the most effective ways to conceal transparent teeth is putting veneers. Veneers are thin coverings that go on top of the tooth to cover the imperfections. They come in several materials that one can choose from. It is best to discuss your options with your dentist about materials and prices. 

Dental bonding to conceal transparent teeth

Another alternative to fix translucent teeth is dental bonding. It is a cheaper alternative to veneers that conceals the damaged areas of the tooth. Bonding is typically made of a composite resin material on top of the tooth. It improves the appearance of teeth and conceals transparent teeth.

Dental Crowns to replace transparent teeth

Teeth replacement treatments such as crowns are also effective to conceal translucent teeth. In case of severe enamel loss, sometimes the only way is to replace the tooth. With the help of crowns, you can get a new set of teeth that look white and healthy. Crowns are available in several materials and you can choose one as per your comfort and budget. 

Dental Implants to replace transparent teeth

In case of severe enamel loss and tooth decay, implants are best for teeth replacement. They are long-lasting and reliable. They not only change the way your teeth look but also repair them from top to bottom. They are a bit heavy on the pocket but last longest than any other treatment for transparent teeth. 

Enamel Remineralization 

Although severe enamel loss is not repairable, professional remineralization may improve minor damage. The process involves the application of fluoride to make teeth resistant to acidic substances. It attracts calcium ions that speed up the remineralization process. Not every dentist performs this procedure so it is best to inquire with your dentist to be sure.

How can you prevent teeth from going transparent?

If you fear your teeth may go transparent, there are certain things you can do to prevent it. They are everyday habits you can add to your life to prevent enamel loss. Here are the steps you can take to avoid translucent teeth:

Stay away from acidic foods

The main cause of enamel loss and transparent teeth is exposure to acids. Both intrinsic and extrinsic acid sources are bad for your enamel. Both are controllable aspects by controlling and monitoring what you eat or drink. The main foods to stay away from are citrus foods and acidic drinks. Moreover, try and stay away from acidic or soft drinks such as cola, carbonated soda, and red wine. 

Healthy and Less Sugary Diet

A healthy lifestyle is not good for general health but great for oral health also. To prevent teeth from turning transparent, consume a healthy and less sugary diet. It is ideal to use green veggies, fresh fruits, and sugar-free foods. Moreover, try and limit your tea/coffee consumption. 

Proper oral hygiene

Consistent oral hygiene is the best preventive method to avoid several oral issues. With proper oral hygiene, you can protect your enamel from thinning or depleting. The more you take care of your teeth, the better the chances your teeth won’t go transparent. Fluoride protects the enamel and enhances the mineralization process. Thus, it is ideal to use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth.

Keep yourself Hydrated

Hydration is an important factor to accelerate salivary production. Saliva accelerates the remineralization process when acids damage the enamel. A dehydrated mouth leads to enamel loss by restricting saliva production. Thus, always remember to hydrate yourself to avoid translucent and see-through teeth. 

Avoid Extreme temperatures

Extreme enamel loss also causes sensitivity issues. If you experience sensitivity, you may feel a sharp pain when you consume too cold or too hot foods/drinks. To avoid further damaging your enamel, avoid extreme temperatures. Better yet, seek dental treatment immediately to avoid colorless and translucent teeth. 

Keep stress at bay

Stress is bad for general health and negatively impacts oral health as well. Anxiety is a stress disorder that causes teeth grinding. The habit of teeth grinding can damage the enamel. Keeping stress at bay and treating teeth grinding can prevent enamel loss.

Avoid Brushing too hard

The way you brush your teeth is important for the protection of your enamel. If you brush aggressively, you may strip off your enamel. Thus, avoid brushing harshly if you do not want your teeth to look transparent and opaque. 

Do not smoke/Drink Alcohol

Smoking and alcohol are the leading causes of many oral diseases. Tobacco accelerates enamel erosion faster than anything else. Too much alcohol consumption also leads to transparent teeth so you may want to cut down on your intake. Thus, if you want healthy and white teeth, lower or stop the consumption of alcohol and tobacco. 

Can you get the enamel back?

Unfortunately, enamel erosion is an irreversible process but you can always remineralize it. Remineralization is the process of strengthening the enamel that’s left on teeth. In severe cases of enamel erosion, the only solutions are veneers, bonding, and crowns. Fluoride is the star ingredient that remineralizes the enamel and protects it.

What does weak enamel look like?

There are signs of weak enamel that show on teeth. Enamel erosion exposes dentin, the layer underneath while giving teeth a yellow appearance. In extreme cases of enamel erosion, teeth look translucent and see-through. Moreover, the edges become rough and jagged while the shape gets uneven. If you spot these signs, your enamel is weak and it is time to reach out to your dentist. 

How to treat Enamel Hypoplasia?

Since enamel hypoplasia is a hereditary condition it cannot completely go away. There are ways, though, to control it and minimize the symptoms. Since there is a high prevalence among children, visit a pediatric dentist frequently. In severe cases, cosmetic treatments such as fillings, crowns, and whitening work great.

What is the best enamel-strengthening toothpaste?

Any toothpaste with fluoride is good for strengthening and protecting the enamel. Fluoride protects the enamel from the damaging effects of acidic foods. Thus, you can use any toothpaste with 1000 to 1500 ppm fluoride in it to avoid transparent teeth. Consult your dentist before using any dental product to avoid any adverse reactions. 

REFERENCES:

Ranjitkar, S., Kaidonis, J. A., & Smales, R. J. (2012). Gastroesophageal reflux disease and tooth erosion. International journal of dentistry2012, 479850. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/479850

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