What Are Translucent Teeth? Learn About Causes, Prevention, and Cures

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Are your teeth transparent around the edges even though you take good care of them? If so, you might be suffering from a condition known as translucent teeth.

translucent teeth
Are you worried you have translucent teeth?

In this article, we will investigate why some people's teeth begin to appear translucent around the edges. We'll also answer the following questions so you can better cope with this oral health issue:

  • Why are my teeth see-through at the bottom?
  • Are teeth turning clear normal?
  • What are the common symptoms associated with a transparent tooth?
  • How can I prevent translucent teeth?
  • Can see-through teeth be fixed?

Let’s get started.

What are translucent teeth?

As you might be aware, our teeth have an outer layer of protective enamel. It’s our first line of defense against elements that are damaging to oral health. The reason that our teeth appear pearl white is that this semi-transparent enamel coating covers the yellow layer of dentin beneath it. So, if you were to lose this enamel coating, your teeth might become dull or translucent and, in some cases, they might even have a wax-like appearance. When this happens, it can look like you have extremely thin teeth!

So, if your mouth has started showing signs of translucency in teeth at the edges and bottom, it’s because the tooth enamel is slowly wearing off. This damage is irreversible and it could lead to serious issues. Here are some of the possible reasons for the erosion of your tooth enamel:

  • Celiac Disease: It’s a popular misconception that Celiac Disease only causes gastrointestinal problems from gluten consumption. The fact is that it also results in poor enamel coating. More often than not, people suffering from this disease have translucent teeth.
  • Enamel Hypoplasia: This is a genetic condition that leads to thin tooth enamel, and consequently, translucent teeth. Here’s a study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) that finds that Enamel Hypoplasia causes hypo mineralization leading to the translucent appearance of teeth. Even if there is some enamel development in people suffering from this problem, it usually wears off quickly.
  • Acid Erosion: Caused by some eroding agents include acidic foods and beverages that we consume. These can also cause permanent damage to teeth enamel.

In the following video, a doctor explains how enamel erosion can lead to a variety of teeth problems:

Mark L. Waltzer, D.M.D., F.A.G.D., a participating Delta Dental dentist, tells of the causes, symptoms, and how to prevent tooth enamel erosion.

It's one thing to look at the possible suspects, but a whole other thing to successfully identify the real cause. We always suggest seeking professional help to get to the root of the situation.

Are translucent teeth normal?

While the reasons for translucent teeth can be genetic or the result of acidic erosion, this condition isn't normal and shouldn't be taken lightly. This clear teeth problem can become critical if the erosion starts affecting your oral health. The enamel in your teeth may be the hardest substance of the human body but with slow erosion, it still wears away. We suggest you go for regular dentist visits for early diagnosis of this condition.

What are common symptoms associated with translucent teeth?

Since the enamel coating on teeth shields us from a variety of harmful agents, symptoms of transparent or translucent teeth are quite evident even in the early stages. Long before the erosion may be visible, you may experience the following symptoms depending on the severity of the damage:

aching translucent teeth
Toothache is a common symptom associated with Translucent Teeth
  • Sensitivity and toothache: You may experience tooth sensitivity while consuming hot and cold food. This may manifest in the form of sharp tooth pain when you eat something icy cold. You may also experience significant discomfort in the form of toothache.
  • Dry mouth: Dry mouth may also occur because of a reduction in saliva production. This exposes your teeth to an even higher risk of erosion as the saliva in your mouth may not be thick enough to form a protective layer over teeth.
  • Canker sores: Canker sores may also start appearing if acidic agents are the cause of enamel erosion.
  • Visual changes: After significant damage to teeth enamel, you might observe color changes, surface indentations, and sometimes in the worst cases, tooth fractures.

How can I prevent translucent teeth?

While transparent teeth due to enamel hypoplasia or celiac disease are rather impossible to prevent, you can still adopt preventive measures against acidic erosion. One of the best ways is to practice impeccable oral health with regular brushing, flossing, and using fluoride toothpaste. Apart from this, you can also prevent enamel erosion by:

  • Boosting and thickening mouth saliva: Chewing sugar-free gum and xylitol throughout the day between meals can help boost saliva. Thick saliva develops a coating over enamel and helps fight bad bacteria.
  • In-clinic dental cleaning: Visiting your dentist twice a year for dental cleaning is an ideal way to prevent erosion in any form.
  • Use a straw when drinking acidic beverages: The next time you consume a beverage with high levels of acidity, like lemonade or soda, try using a straw while drinking as it helps minimize exposure to highly acidic agents.
  • Drink water: A primary cause of dry mouth and thinning of saliva is not consuming enough water. So, make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day. Also, gargling with water after meals is a great way to wash away the acids trapped in your mouth.
  • Manage acid reflux: If you are suffering from acid reflux or GERD, be mindful of consuming spicy and highly acidic foods.

Can translucent teeth be fixed?

If you notice any of the symptoms listed in this article, you should seek professional help from your dentist. There are a few treatment options that you can explore:

Type of Treatment Benefit Average Cost
Veneers A dental veneer can be used to cover and protect translucent teeth. These shells form a protective layer over your teeth. Veneers can also help with gaps between teeth, discoloration, and misalignment of teeth $925 - $2500
Dental crowns Depending on the severity of damage to your tooth enamel, your dentist may suggest dental crowns. These porcelain ceramic crowns are meant to fit the top of your tooth to provide protection and strength to the structure $800 - $1500
Bonding This process involves applying a composite resin to your teeth. The resin is then molded to fit your mouth. Once shaped, it is hardened and polished to provide a natural look $300 - $4600

Conclusion

translucent teeth at the bottom
Better oral hygiene is an ideal defense against translucent teeth

The best way to avoid translucent and transparent teeth is to opt for a healthy oral routine. While it's possible that the enamel decay in your mouth is genetic or from another medical condition that may be incurable, better oral hygiene will always help. If you notice evident signs, consulting a dentist for early diagnosis will enable you to minimize the damage.

FAQs

Why are the bottoms of my teeth clear?

Usually, our teeth are off-white, a bit yellow, or a clear blue or grey-white color because of the semi-translucent enamel coating over them. The reason for clear transparent bottoms of your teeth is that the enamel coating has slowly disappeared. This is a visible sign that follows after some level of dental enamel erosion.

Can tooth enamel grow back?

There are several products out there that promise to restore lost tooth enamel. And while you can do a lot to protect and strengthen your existing tooth enamel, once it has eroded, it is gone forever. Unlike nails and hair which grow back once cut, tooth enamel doesn't regenerate naturally. While growing it back may be impossible, you could opt for remineralizing it with professional help.

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Contributors:
Sukriti Taneja
Sukriti Taneja
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Sukriti is a content writer specializing in the healthcare niche. She is an ex-software engineer who's given up IT for writing full-time. She's been writing for 7 years and regularly creates optimized and targeted content for multiple domains including health, technology, education, entertainment, and more.
Sources
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov: Enamel hypoplasia of primary canine. Consulted 12th May 2020. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov: Dental Enamel Development. Consulted 13th May 2020 ccdental.com.au: Why Do Your Teeth Look Translucent? 3 Possible Causes and Treatments. Consulted 13th May 2020 greenhillsdentist.net: TRANSLUCENT TEETH: CAUSES, TREATMENT AND PREVENTION. Consulted 15th May 2020
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