Healthy teeth are opaque and white with a pearly shine. If your teeth are slightly see-through, that could mean that your dental enamel is not as thick or strong as it should be. Here are three common causes of translucent teeth and tips for dealing with them.
1. Enamel Hypoplasia
Enamel hypoplasia is a condition that occurs during childhood and prevents tooth enamel from developing properly. It can occur as a result of another illness like the chickenpox, poor nutrition or ingesting too much fluoride. Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste is not enough to cause enamel hypoplasia but this cause might be relevant if you used to swallow toothpaste when you were young.
If you have this condition, your adult teeth will likely stay translucent. You might also have very sensitive teeth as the enamel that protects them is very thin. If the condition bothers you, a cosmetic dentist can use veneers or composite bonding to create a more normal tooth appearance.
2. Acid Erosion
If you regularly eat acidic foods like citrus fruits and sweets or drink acidic drinks like cola, the acid can wear away your tooth enamel. As a result, your teeth can start to look translucent. See your local dentist if you are worried about acids affecting your tooth enamel. You might be at risk of cavities, which will require urgent treatment. You can reduce the effects of acids on your teeth by drinking plenty of water to rinse them from your teeth and avoiding carbonated drinks, which are often extremely acidic. You can also regularly use an enamel-strengthening toothpaste.
3. Coeliac Disease
Coeliac disease is a condition in which the body reacts negatively to gluten, a protein found in wheat. This reaction can cause serious damage to the lining of the intestines, making it difficult to digest food. The resulting nutritional deficiencies can starve the body of the materials it needs to form strong, healthy enamel — leading to translucent teeth. If you have coeliac disease, you will probably have diarrhoea or abdominal pain. The condition can develop at any time during life. Currently, the only treatment for coeliac disease is a gluten-free diet, which means you will need to cut out wheat and all processed foods that contain it.
Before you cut out gluten, visit your doctor. A simple blood test can diagnose coeliac disease, but only if you have been eating gluten recently.