Translucent teeth, or transparent teeth, can be caused by certain health conditions or through exposure to acids from food and drinks. Fixing translucent teeth will depend on the specific cause, but oral care habits and preventive measures can also help prevent the condition from worsening.
Our teeth are naturally opaque, but certain factors can wear down the enamel or cause mineral loss which results in see-through or translucent teeth.
- Health conditions. One of the symptoms of celiac disease or gluten intolerance is translucent teeth; the condition can cause poor enamel development, making teeth appear translucent. Enamel hypoplasia (EH) is a developmental defect, which means it affects teeth during the earliest stages of development in children. EH causes hypomineralization, or mineral loss, and results in thin enamel and translucent teeth. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), chronic heartburn, bulimia, or morning sickness are conditions that cause stomach acids to back up into the esophagus and the mouth. The constant exposure to acids cause enamel erosion, and lead to transparent teeth.
- Eating and drinking habits. Frequent consumption of food and drinks that are highly acidic also results in acid erosion of the enamel, thereby thinning it and giving it a translucent appearance.
How to fix translucent teeth
- Prevention. Physical erosion of the enamel due to acid exposure can be minimised by reducing consumption of acidic food and drinks. Translucent teeth caused by stomach acids as a direct result of a health condition will require medical prevention, as prescribed by your doctor. Rinsing the mouth with water after acid exposure can reduce damage to the enamel; you should also wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth because doing so too soon will further erode your enamel.
- Treatment options. Loss enamel cannot be restored. But your dentist can offer you cosmetic treatment options to improve the appearance of your transparent teeth.
- Veneers are a permanent solution to translucent teeth. These are thin, tooth-colored shells – made of either porcelain or resin – which are bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth. This is a popular cosmetic dental procedure for people who want to get a “perfect” set of teeth, as well as those who require tooth repair and restoration.
- Bonding is a more straightforward cosmetic treatment. It uses a composite resin in a shade that is closest to your teeth’s natural color; resin is then attached and molded to each tooth. Your dentist will sculpt the resin to match the natural shape of your teeth. This will be followed by hardening and polishing to achieve a natural look.
If you notice your teeth becoming transparent, it is best to visit your dentist as soon as possible in order to determine the cause and start the appropriate treatment. Transparent teeth also translate to weakened enamel which, in turn, can make you more susceptible to tooth decay and other oral health problems. If you have transparent teeth, it is more important than ever to maintain good oral care habits.