This article takes a closer look at the importance of looking after your tooth enamel, thereby protecting your teeth. We supply a list of signs that your tooth enamel may be eroded and what you can do to prevent this erosion from occurring.
Tooth enamel is the strongest matter in the human body and is found on the outer layer of the teeth, serving a vital role in protecting your teeth. This is why it’s extremely important to do what you can to prevent its erosion. Tooth enamel is the protective wall that keeps your teeth safe from daily wear and tear and the destructive effects of acids and chemicals. Teeth in a day specialists in Chicago explain that enamel covers the dentin (the softer and more porous underlying tooth structure). Destroying this protective layer ultimately leads to the entire tooth becoming vulnerable to decay and causes hypersensitivity to temperatures. If you are experiencing sensitivity and discomfort when exposing your mouth to hot or cold temperatures, your tooth enamel has most likely been eroded.
What Causes Dental Erosion?
There are a great amount of factors that can contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel. Implant dentistry specialists in Chicago point out that in most cases this erosion can be linked to a diet that is high in acidic content and a lack of proper oral hygiene. Factors causing tooth enamel to erode include:
- Excessive intake of sugary substances, such as soft drinks or fruit drinks. Bacteria flourish on sugar and the wastes they produce, which are very acidic, can destroy enamel.
- Eating lots of candies and sour foods: Acid tastes sour, so these foods tend to be acid-rich.
- Keeping your mouth moist is vital and conditions such as dry mouth tend to put your tooth enamel at risk. Saliva helps to prevent enamel decay by neutralizing acids in the mouth, cleansing your mouth of food debris and combating bacteria.
- Brushing your teeth too vigorously, grinding your teeth and using your teeth to open bottles or other materials can also lead to tooth enamel being damaged.
- Behaviors that cause frequent vomiting such as binge drinking or bulimia exposes your teeth to destructive stomach acids.
Tooth Enamel: Signs and Symptoms of Erosion
When your tooth enamel is badly eroded, your teeth become susceptible to cavities and decay, which lead to the following symptoms:
- Cracked, chipped, rough or irregular edges on the teeth are common signs of tooth enamel attrition.
- Pain and sensitivity of the teeth when exposed to temperatures (hot and cold).
- Silky, shiny surfaces on the teeth due to mineral loss.
- Enamel erosion can also lead to yellowed and stained teeth.
What Can I Do To Protect My Tooth Enamel?
As with all oral health risks, the best form of prevention is to follow a good, consistent and disciplined oral hygiene routine at home. “Teeth in a Day” experts in Chicago also recommend visiting your dentist regularly for general checkups. Even if you don’t feel like there’s something wrong with your teeth, these visits are crucial for the prevention and early diagnosis of problems that could cause irreversible damage in the long run. A combination of good oral care at home and at your dentist’s office is the key to preventing tooth enamel erosion:
- Try to cut down on acidic and sugary food and drink. If you do drink and eat foods with high acidity and sugar levels, try doing so at mealtimes (as opposed to snacking) and if possible, brush your teeth afterwards to help remineralize your dental enamel and wash away food debris.
- Drinking sodas and juices with a straw can help in bypassing the acidic interaction with your teeth.
- Drinking a glass of milk or eating a piece of cheese after meals can also help protect your enamel as dairy products aid in neutralizing acids.
- Chewing sugar-free gum promotes saliva production, which, as we mentioned earlier, helps to fight bacteria, cleansing your mouth of food debris.
A Final Note
Protecting your tooth enamel means protecting your teeth and a healthy mouth is a happy mouth. By following the advice provided by implant dentistry specialists in Chicago, you can protect your teeth from the destructive forces of cavities and decay. You must also see your dentist regularly for the preventative care that will keep your standard of oral health high.