What is tooth enamel?
Tooth enamel is a substance that covers your teeth and keeps them from being damaged while you chew. It coats the outside of your teeth and is considered the hardest material contained in the body. It shields the nerves from temperatures that cause discomfort so you can easily eat hot and cold food.
What makes tooth enamel wear down?
Tooth enamel may be the hardest substance in your body, but that doesn’t make it impervious to damage. Acid and sugar are big culprits, with soda decaying the enamel and creating pits that allow access to the nerve. Bacteria and plaque build-up also cause damage to the enamel over time. When the enamel shell is compromised, your teeth are sensitive to temperatures and the root of the tooth is at risk of damage and decay.
Outside of temperature sensitivity, your teeth may also become rough. As the enamel thins, it also becomes easier for the teeth to chip and sustain damage. They also take on a yellow color due to the denten underneath. Your stomach acid also causes damage to your teeth when you vomit or have problems with acid reflux. Eating disorders such as binging and purging brings strong stomach acids across the teeth and can wear down the enamel at a rapid rate.
How to protect tooth enamel
You have several ways to protect your tooth enamel, as well as techniques that help if you have erosion and decay occur. Cutting out sugar-heavy drinks gives you one of the biggest boosts to protecting your enamel. Sodas and fruit juices are the biggest problem drinks, so it’s essential to cut these out if you have enamel problems. Lemons and high acid fruit round out the list of problematic food. Sugar-heavy foods also cause an issue, so candy, chocolate, and other high sugar foods should be avoided. If sugar gets into holes in the enamel, it causes pain and discomfort.
Daily dental hygiene is also necessary to stop bacteria and plaque from building up on your teeth. Additionally, cleaning off your teeth immediately after eating or drinking something acidic helps cut down on the amount of damage done to the enamel. Managing the food that you eat and avoiding vomiting helps to stop your body from damaging the enamel.
Pay attention when you are taking medication that causes dry mouth. Your saliva helps to keep your mouth moisturized and protects your enamel. If you get dry mouth, you need to keep your mouth wet through frequent water drinking to mitigate potential problems.
Tooth paste that includes fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel. Brush your teeth after every meal at minimum, and ideally after every ingestion of acidic food or drink. If you have enamel completely worn off on a tooth, you need to get help from a dentist to avoid the pain that comes from exposed dentin. This may involve pulling the tooth out entirely or fixing the holes in the enamel. Call Dr. Caven or visit online at www.cavendental.com for more information or to schedule an appointment today!