Translucent teeth | Loss of enamel

translucent teeth in smile

Are you wearing the enamel off of your front teeth? As teeth get thin from enamel loss, they become translucent. Translucent teeth appear thin around the edges and are white grey in color. Once the outer enamel layers begin to thin, the teeth are more susceptible to injury.

There are various explanations for why the teeth have this appearance. There are many causes of this condition and multiple treatments to correct the issue. 

What happens to the enamel of the tooth?

Once the enamel begins to wear down a tooth can become very sensitive. Cavities can also begin to form since the tooth is exposed to more bacteria. You may begin to notice pain while brushing your teeth. Worse case scenario, tooth loss may occur since the tooth is weak and more vulnerable. 

What is responsible for translucent teeth?

Teeth grinding can make your teeth translucent from wear

Nothing wears a tooth thin faster than bruxism. Night time grinding wears the enamel off of the edges of your teeth. The loss of enamel makes it easy to see through those edges.


Genetics plays a role in many things, including the formation of your teeth. A condition known as enamel hypoplasia occurs while teeth are still developing. This condition can affect the enamel in baby and adult teeth. 

Enamel hypoplasia causes the teeth to form with an insufficient amount of enamel. This lack of enamel can be responsible for tooth decay and the appearance of translucent teeth.  

If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition it is imperative that you see your dentist on a regular basis. Since enamel hypoplasia weakens the teeth your dentist can conduct an examination at each appointment to see if there are any problem areas. Finding and treating these issues as soon as possible is key to preventing further damage. 

Causes of enamel hypoplasia include:

  • Nutritional deficiencies 
  • Trauma to the mouth
  • Infection 
  • Premature birth

Food and drink can cause erosive processes

Some acidic beverages, such as fruit juice or soda, slowly begin to eat away at the tooth enamel over time. Highly acidic foods can also have this same effect. Some acidic include fruits such as lemons, limes, and oranges. Certain candies can also be very acidic.  

Brushing after eating can help eliminate the food remnants and bacteria lurking in your mouth. You can also rinse your mouth after drinking to prevent the acid in beverages from attacking your teeth. A dry mouth can cause more erosion also.

Acid reflux can cause translucent teeth

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux, is a medical condition where the contents of the stomach are pushed up into the throat. This stomach acid can wreak havoc on your teeth and destroy the enamel

Eating disorders

Bulimia can also affect the enamel of the teeth. Vomit is incredibly acidic and with time it can cause significant damage to teeth. 

Morning sickness

While morning sickness may be temporary, acid erosion of the teeth can occur. Prolonged exposure to the acid may cause permanent issues.

Teeth whitening

Whitening kits can leave your teeth looking bright and white, but using them too often can also have a negative impact. The chemicals in whitening kits can begin to eat away at the enamel of the teeth. While it’s safe to use teeth whitening kits it’s important to use them in moderation. If you have any questions about these products please contact your dentist. 

Celiac disease

Translucent teeth have also been linked to Celiac disease. Celiac disease is mostly known as an immune disease that requires gluten to be removed from the diet to avoid inflammation. Celiac disease can also affect the development of teeth by disturbing the enamel formation.

Are there ways to correct translucent teeth?

Your dentist can evaluate your symptoms and based on the findings they can recommend a treatment plan. There are many treatments available that can correct or reduce the appearance of translucent teeth. It is possible that you may require additional treatments if your teeth have severe damage.

Cosmetic bonding

Depending on the condition of your teeth, cosmetic bonding can be used to strengthen weak areas of a tooth. Bonding uses a composite resin that is applied relatively easily in the office and provides an instant transformation. 


A tooth becomes weaker and more susceptible to injury or cavities after the enamel has been stripped from the tooth. Remineralization allows vital minerals to be applied directly to the tooth which makes it stronger and protects the remaining enamel. 

Special toothpastes are available that contain fluoride and calcium. When you brush your teeth with a toothpaste that has these two ingredients you are also remineralizing the teeth. The calcium and fluoride toothpaste not only protects your teeth, but it also protects the enamel.  

Tooth veneers do a good job of repairing translucent teeth

Tooth veneers are an excellent option for patients who have enamel missing from the front of their teeth. Veneers are attached to the front of the teeth and can hide any signs of missing enamel. If your teeth have damage to both sides then you may be a better candidate for dental crowns. 

Translucent teeth can be covered with Crowns

When the enamel wears all over the tooth, enclosing it with a crown is the recommended solution. When enamel loss is significant, food can pack between the teeth and cause gum disease. Crowns replace the missing contours and contacts.

Where can I find personalized information on treating my translucent teeth?

In order to determine the next steps you will need to undergo a dental examination. Dr. Fondriest will assess your teeth and ask questions to learn more about your dental issues and overall oral health. 

Please give our office a call at (847) 234-0517 to schedule a consultation and learn more about your dental options. Our team can help find a solution that works for you.