Here's why some people have those white spots on their teeth

Here's why some people have those white spots on their teeth

My mother would always tell me that the only difference between an ugly person and a beautiful one is a good smile. Okay, so she just so happens to be a dental hygienist, and thus is a little bit biased, but it's still a good point. A clean mouth and gleaming pearly-whites are among the most important attributes a person can possess. There's nothing more off-putting than someone opening their mouth to reveal a set of teeth filled with cavities, caries and plaque; with a grin that looks like a vandalised graveyard.

But there are some people whom you might have noticed have a very particular oral ailment. Yes, there are some people out there (and you might be one of them) whose front teeth feature tiny white marks dotted on the surface. If you're anything like me, then you've probably been curious all your life about where these little abrasions have come from, but are too polite to ask personally. Normally, you'd have to be a trained dentist to know the answer, but we've decided to share the secret with you. Isn't that nice of us?

As it turns out, there are a number of reasons why these white spots might suddenly manifest themselves. The biggest reason is simply to do with poor oral hygiene in childhood. The accumulation of bacteria plaque, which occurs when people neglect to brush or floss, causes demineralisation of the tooth. If you're wearing braces then you're at particular risk of plaque buildup, and the tell-tale white spots often appear after the braces have been removed. However, don't be overzealous: the spots can also appear when your mouth is overexposed to too much fluoride.

However, there are also some other reasons the white marks appear which are unrelated to a person's overall oral health. For instance, sleeping with your mouth open and breathing through your mouth while sleeping can also cause the formation of these lesions. In this instance, the spots are only a temporary side-effect caused by dehydration of enamel on your tooth's surface. Once your salivary glands are functioning properly when you're fully conscious, the moisture will rehydrate them and the white spots will soon disappear.

If you think you're stuck with the white marks for life though: don't despair! There are a number of ways to get rid of them, either by microabrasion, bleaching or by porcelain veneers. But please, consult with your dentist before you attempt any remedies, to find the best method. And if you don't happen to have these marks on your teeth, just remember that the best preventative measure consists of toothpaste, flossing and mouthwash.