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Causes of Chalky Teeth in Adults

Posted on 3/8/2021 by Kevin Nail, DDS
Causes of Chalky Teeth in AdultsHypomineralization and enamel hypoplasia are two serious dental conditions that result in the appearance of chalky teeth. Patients with these two conditions complain that their teeth feel grainy and rough. Visible white spots and bands also appear on the teeth, and in some cases, patients can notice discoloration of their teeth.

Enamel hypoplasia or hypomineralization is not as common in adults as it is in children. This dental disease usually carries forward people's childhood and affects their adult teeth. But if left untreated, the condition can cause severe tooth decay and other oral diseases.

Some of the causes of chalky teeth in adults are as follows:


Dental diseases like amelogenesis imperfecta, or congenital enamel hypoplasia that lead to defective enamel growth or the chalky surface of the enamel are hereditary in nature. The genes that we inherit from our parents cause the poor development of enamel even when we take care of our diet and teeth. It is said that 1 in 14,000 people in the USA are affected by amelogenesis imperfecta, or congenital enamel hypoplasia. Other hereditary syndromes that can result in chalky teeth include:

•  Usher syndrome
•  Seckel syndrome
•  Ellis-van Creveld syndrome
•  Treacher Collins syndrome
•  Otodental syndrome
•  velocardiofacial syndrome
•  Heimler syndrome


A deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals in our body can affect the healthy growth of our teeth. The deficiency of minerals like calcium, magnesium, fluoride, and phosphorous hamper the development of enamel. Similarly, when our body is deficient in Vitamin A, C, and D, our enamel becomes corrosive and appears are chalky or grainy. Our body naturally absorbs these essential nutrients from the foods that we eat, but having an unhealthy diet deprives our body of these vital minerals and vitamins. As a result, our teeth are unable to form a hard protective coating of mineral-rich enamel.

Health Conditions

Health conditions in our childhood or even existing health conditions such as jaundice, liver damage, infections, diabetes, etc., can hinder the natural process of enamel development and cause hypomineralization or hypoplasia. These conditions affect the calcification process because of which calcium is not properly absorbed in the enamel. The result is an uneven surface of our teeth.

Acidic and Oxalate-rich Foods

Foods that are rich in oxalate, such as beans, beer, berries, chocolate, coffee, etc., can affect the formation of enamel in adults. Oxalic acid is not easily broken down by our saliva. It combines with calcium in our enamel to form grainy particles, which give our teeth a chalky appearance. Moreover, acidic foods like lemon juice, meat, alcohol, and sugary treats can demineralize our enamel and lead to the grain, chalky surface of our teeth.

Get in touch with us here at Kevin Nail, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to speak to Dr. Kevin Nail and Dr. Nail. They can help you understand how to take proper care of your teeth.


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Houston, TX 77095-2890

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Kevin Nail, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, 15757 FM 529, Suite A, Houston, TX 77095-2890 ^ (281) 550-9054 ^ ^ 11/29/2022 ^ Tags: dentist Houston TX ^