Importance of Tooth Enamel – Protect your enamel for healthy teeth
Posted: Apr 06, 2020
Enamel is the thin outer layer or covering of the tooth. It is also considered as a tough shell and is the hardest tissue in the human body. Coffee, tea, cola, red wine, fruit juices, etc., stain the enamel on your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing and rinsing of the mouth after having food can help in countering the stains on the enamel. Regular visits to your dentist for routine cleaning and polishing can help remove most surface stains and make sure your teeth stay healthy.
What is enamel erosion?
Enamel erosion or tooth erosion happens when acids wear away the outer layer of the teeth. Although enamel is a hard protector of teeth, it can chip and crack. once a tooth chips or breaks, the damage is done forever. Because enamel has no living cells, the body cannot repair chipped or cracked enamel.
What are the causes of enamel erosion?
The following are the causes of enamel erosion:
- Excessive consumption of soft drinks that have high levels of phosphoric and citric acids
- Fruit drinks that contain higher amounts of artificial flavors and acids
- Dry mouth or low saliva flow
- Consuming high in sugar and starches
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Medications (aspirin, antihistamines)
- Genetics (inherited conditions)
- Environmental factors (friction, wear and tear, stress, and corrosion)
How to detect enamel erosion?
Enamel erosion can lead to various dental problems. The signs may change depending upon the damage. The following are the signs of enamel or tooth erosion:
- In the early stage of enamel erosion, certain foods (sweets) and temperatures of foods (hot or cold) may cause a twinge of pain known as sensitivity.
- As the enamel erodes, the color of the teeth changes and appears yellow.
- The edges of teeth become more rough, irregular, and jagged as enamel erodes. This is because of the cracks and chips due to weak enamel.
- In later stages of enamel erosion, teeth become extremely sensitive to temperatures and sweets. You may feel extreme and severe pain.
- Cavities and caries develop in the later stages.
Preventing tooth enamel erosion:
Brush, floss, and rinsing are the primary and key activities to prevent tooth enamel erosion. Along with them, you need to follow some of the precautions that will help in preventing enamel erosion:
- Eliminate highly acidic foods and drinks such as carbonated sodas, lemons, and other citrus fruits and juices.
- Rinse your mouth immediately with clear water after eating acidic foods or drinking acidic drinks.
- Use a straw when you drink acidic drinks. The straw pushes the liquid to the back of your mouth, avoiding your teeth.
- Avoid snacking unless you're able to rinse your mouth and brush teeth.
- Chew sugar-free gum between meals.
- Drink more water throughout the day if you have low saliva volume or dry mouth.
- Use toothpaste that has a recommended amount of Fluoride.
The above-mentioned methods will help you in preventing enamel erosion.
But what if your tooth is already eroded?
In case your teeth are already eroded, consult your dentist without any delays. The lower the loss, the easier the repair. If the loss is significantly higher, the dentist will recommend to cover up the damage through teeth crowns or veneers.
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