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Translucent Teeth: Three Things To Know

Published date field Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Although teeth should be opaque, some people may notice the edges of their teeth are translucent. Whether your teeth have always been this way or if it's a new feature of your smile, they should be examined by a dental professional. Explore causes and treatment options for translucent teeth to keep in mind.

1. Causes of Translucent Teeth

Conditions like Celiac disease can cause poor enamel development, resulting in teeth with a translucent appearance along with pitted or banded discoloration. Enamel hypoplasia – a side effect of genetic conditions and environmental factors, can also thin tooth surfaces. This condition affects the development of your teeth from their very early stages and causes hypomineralization (the loss of minerals from your tooth enamel) that gives your teeth a translucent appearance.

Acid erosion is another possible cause of translucent teeth. The acids of your favorite foods and drinks can erode your tooth enamel. Exposure to stomach acid from conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), morning sickness, or bulimia are also known to lead to teeth becoming transparent.

2. Prevention

You can't prevent genetic conditions like Celiac disease or enamel hypoplasia, but physical effects like acid erosion are under your control. To prevent acid from eating away at your enamel and thinning your teeth, try to reduce your consumption of soda, fruit juice, and other acidic foods and beverages with natural counterparts. If you eat or drink something acidic, remember to rinse your mouth out with water to rinse away the residue.

Health conditions that expose your teeth to stomach acid are grounds to see your medical doctor for more direct precautionary treatment. To protect your teeth in the meantime, rinse your mouth with water following an episode of vomiting or acid reflux. You should also wait 30 minutes after this acid exposure to brush your teeth—brushing too soon afterward could damage your enamel.

3. Treatment Options

Depending on the severity of your enamel loss, you may consider more cosmetic treatments for translucent teeth. Bonding and veneers are great ways to get your bright smile back.

  • Bonding is a fast and minimally invasive cosmetic treatment that can restore the original look of your teeth in a single appointment. If your dentist opts for this method, they will apply a composite resin to your teeth and mold it to fit the shape of your mouth. Once the resin's appearance is perfected, it will be hardened and polished.
  • Veneers are another way to conceal your translucent enamel. These thin pieces of porcelain are permanently attached to the front surfaces of your teeth. Your dental professional will first prepare the surface of your teeth by removing a small amount of enamel for proper fit, then cement your veneers into place.

Your dental professional will know the best solution for how to fix translucent teeth. With the cause identified, treatment can begin to restore the look of your translucent teeth, so you don't have to alter your daily routine.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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