Enamel is the strongest tissue in the human body – even stronger than bone. As the translucent outer layer of your teeth, enamel protects from harsh chemicals and temperatures.
Your enamel also protects your teeth during daily activities when you’re biting, chewing, and crunching foods; if you grind your teeth at night, your enamel protects your teeth and gums from that impact as well.
However, tooth enamel is not indestructible.
What is Tooth Enamel Erosion?
Enamel erosion occurs when acids slowly wear away the enamel on your teeth. This is a problem since enamel does not have living cells to allow your body to regenerate it. So, once your enamel is eroded, cracked, or damaged in any way, the only way to restore the protection it offered to your teeth is with some kind of dental procedure.
That’s why it’s best to be aware of the causes of tooth enamel erosion to avoid losing that natural protection if at all possible.
Common Causes of Tooth Enamel Erosion
In order to avoid tooth enamel erosion and any other kind of tooth enamel damage, it’s important to understand the various substances and situations that can cause these problems to occur.
Sometimes, tooth enamel erosion happens because of a genetic disposition to weak enamel or acidic types of plaque build-up. However, enamel damage can also be prevented by avoiding certain foods, drinks, and habits.
Various substances can create erosion because of their acidic quality. In these cases, avoiding too much exposure to the substance is the best way to prevent tooth enamel erosion.
Some of the substances that lead to tooth enamel erosion include:
- Fruity drinks, which are highly acidic and high in sugar
- Sugary and starchy foods like syrups and white bread
- Soft drinks, which are high in citric and phosphoric acids and in sugar
- Excessive amounts of vitamin C
- Medications like antihistamines and aspirin
Sometimes, tooth enamel erosion occurs because of a situation in your environment, or a harmful habit. These can include:
- Dry mouth, or low saliva production
- Gastrointestinal issues or acid reflux
- Clenching or grinding teeth
- Brushing too hard or improper flossing
- Biting hard objects
- Frequent vomiting
- Plaque buildup from improper dental hygiene
How to Fix Tooth Enamel Erosion
As previously mentioned, tooth enamel cannot repair itself. So, if your enamel has already begun to erode, you cannot reverse that process. But you can prevent it from getting any worse.
The best way to fix enamel erosion is to prevent it from happening in the first place by taking good care of your teeth with proper brushing and flossing and by visiting the dentist regularly for dental cleanings.
You can also try to avoid acidic foods and substances that could erode your teeth and address any habits you might have that could cause your tooth enamel to erode.
Enamel erosion occurs over time, so if you do visit your dentist regularly, they should be able to diagnose and treat erosion early, once they first notice the signs.
If you’re experiencing the earlier signs of enamel erosion, your dentist might suggest dental bonding. This is a relatively conservative restorative procedure in which your dentist will place a tooth-colored resin on your teeth that will then bond with your teeth and serve the protective purpose that your enamel served before it began to erode.
However, dental bonding can stain and is not as strong as other, usually more expensive procedures.
If your enamel is too eroded or if your teeth have cracked or broken as a result of enamel erosion, you might need a more drastic treatment to fix it. Several different types of cosmetic dental procedures address issues that occur from damaged enamel, like dental crowns, bridges, or veneers.
These options utilize a substance like porcelain, which is designed to match the color of your teeth, to cover the damaged tooth or teeth and serve as a replacement for the enamel that has been damaged.
To find out which treatment is right for you, visit your dentist. They should be able to work out a treatment that will be cost-effective for you while also providing a long-term solution for enamel erosion and any other issues you might be experiencing.Leave a reply →