Every adult remembers the thrill and excitement of wiggling a loose tooth with your tongue or finger as a small child. However, excitement is the last thing you will feel...
Tooth enamel is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance in your entire body. Harder than your bones, enamel covers the outer layer of each tooth and protects your teeth from decay. This strong barrier protects the inner layers of your teeth from harmful acids and plaques, making it an essential piece to maintaining a healthy smile for life.
What Causes Enamel Erosion?
Enamel erosion happens when acids wear away the enamel on the teeth. Friction, daily wear and tear, and stress in any combination can cause erosion of tooth enamel and leave your teeth susceptible to damage and decay. The top culprits that break down tooth enamel are:
- Excessive soft drink consumption
- Fruit juices that have raised levels of sugar and citric acids
- Dry mouth and low saliva flow
- A diet high in sugar and starches
- Acid reflux disease
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Side effects of certain medications
- Grinding of your teeth, or Bruxism
- Improper flossing
- Brushing too hard
Benefits of Restoring Your Tooth Enamel and Your Smile
There are several adverse side effects from tooth erosion that can cause severe discomfort to patients. The most common symptoms of enamel erosion are sensitive and discolored teeth, increased decay, tooth fracturing, and shiny spots on teeth.
Having any damaged enamel erosion restored by a trusted dental professional will offer many benefits, including:
Reduced Tooth Sensitivity
The most common side effect of tooth erosion is experiencing sensitivity. The reduction of the tooth’s protective coating causes your teeth to become sensitive. Sensitivity is most noticeable while eating hot or cold foods, when you brush, or when your gum line is exposed to air.
A Whiter Smile
Enamel erosion also commonly causes discoloration. When the enamel has worn so thin, you can see the underlying dentine, which is naturally yellow.
Sharp Edges Are Corrected
Rough edges appear when the enamel wears away, which can make for an uncomfortable surface that your tongue brushes against during the day and at night. Left untreated, this can eventually lead to chipped or cracked teeth.
Restoring Daily Comfort
Living with pain or discomfort for an extended period can affect your daily life. Restoring your enamel will help you regain the functionality of your teeth with solid surfaces that don’t feel brittle.
How Your Dentist Can Help
While there’s no way to restore natural tooth enamel fully, there are ways you can treat the damaged area. By taking care of your teeth in other ways, you will be preventing further damage.
The following treatments are great options for restoring your smile’s look, feel, and function after losing tooth enamel.
Bonding is commonly used in mild cases of enamel erosion. This cosmetic procedure utilizes resin that is tinted to match your existing teeth. Dental bonding is applied to the tooth with the erosion that has occurred. Once the resin hardens, it is bonded to the tooth and polished. The entire process takes an hour or less, and dental bonding can be completed in just one appointment. Stronger, healthier teeth are easy to achieve with dental bonding.
A crown can be applied to a tooth in more severe cases of weakened enamel. This procedure involves capping the tooth with excessive damage with a crown that will protect the damaged areas, restoring function to a damaged tooth. Crowns protect your tooth against future decay and allow you to eat and drink again without experiencing sensitivity and pain.
Do Your Part To Prevent Enamel Erosion
Use these tips at home and as part of your daily routine to help prevent tooth erosion from happening to your teeth:
- Avoid consuming sugary drinks
- Use a straw when drinking liquids when possible
- Cut back on frequent snacking
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating
- Keep your saliva production up by drinking water
The best defense against tooth erosion is a good offense. Being proactive with your oral hygiene routine at home will help to reduce your risk of enamel erosion. Additionally, scheduling routine dental checkups and cleanings every six months will keep your teeth as healthy as possible. If you are concerned about the current state of your tooth enamel, contact Hoffman Dental Care today.