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What Causes Tooth Enamel to Deteriorate?

What Causes Tooth Enamel to Deteriorate?

Your tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body yet it erodes every day. If you think about it having to last a lifetime, and with humans living longer and longer, why aren’t we all talking about it a bit more? Once your tooth enamel is gone, your body cannot restore it, leaving your mouth susceptible to decay.

What Your Tooth Enamel Does for You

The main purpose of tooth enamel is to protect your teeth from damage. It is also responsible for the aesthetics of your mouth – how white your teeth are and the shape of the teeth. The enamel protects your nerves from hot and cold by acting as an insulator. Your enamel also protects your teeth from decay.

Main Cause of Tooth Enamel Deterioration

The main cause of enamel erosion is due to acid in the mouth. Most people believe that poor diets increase the likelihood of tooth enamel erosion but healthy diets are actually responsible for the rise in enamel deterioration. Basically, any food or drink that is acidic is to blame. Yes, sodas are definitely a big offender but so is orange juice and apple juice, lemon and even certain vinaigrettes that you put on your salads.

Another large factor affecting tooth enamel is teeth grinding. If you happen to be one of those people that clench your jaw or grind your teeth when you are sleeping, you are definitely wearing down your tooth enamel.

Signs of Enamel Erosion

1. There are many causes for teeth to yellow, but one reason is because the lack of enamel allows the dentin to show through.
2. If the tips of your front teeth look transparent you are definitely showing signs of erosion.
3. Random sensitivity when eating sweets, hot or cold food and drink can be one of the signs to watch for.
4. In advanced stages, some grooves will appear in your teeth at the microscopic level which make for nice doorways for decay.
5. Also in advanced stages, the teeth can begin to crack around the edges.

Preventing Tooth Enamel Erosion

The best thing to do if you cannot avoid the acidic foods is to drink water after consumption. Using a soft toothbrush is another helpful tip many are not used to paying attention to. Regular dental cleaning and check-ups contribute to a well-rounded preventative care course.

For those that grind teeth, a night guard that is custom made for your bite will act as a barrier between your upper and lower jaw when you clench down.

Can Tooth Enamel Be Restored?

Dentists’ main practice is repair of damage caused because the tooth enamel couldn’t protect the tooth from damage. Any time you get a filling or a crown - that is the dentist stopping further damage from happening. These are all artificial measures of protecting the teeth. Currently, there are several scientific yet experimental solutions attempting to regrow tooth enamel. These are not mainstream yet but we have seen some approved products overseas. Time will tell us if they actually work while we continue to work on the same issue here in the US.

If you think your enamel is wearing down and you want to take measures to protect your teeth, call Love Family Dentistry in Astoria for a consultation.

Love Family Dental
32-12 33rd Street Astoria, NY 11106
Phone: (718) 726-8012 URL of Map