What is Enamel Erosion?

Why is the enamel of our teeth so important? What is its purpose? We’re here to tell you. Enamel is the hardest material in your entire body—even stronger than your bones. It allows your teeth to withstand the pressure required to tear through the food that we eat. Tooth enamel is the protective “shell” surrounding the main substance inside of your tooth; the dentin. Unfortunately, there are several kinds of food and drink that can erode your enamel.

What causes enamel erosion?

The enamel can wear down due to a variety of reasons. More often, the things that we eat and drink as well as teeth grinding, and jaw clenching are the culprit of your damaged enamel. Certain drinks are more acidic than others, including but not limited to:

  • Coffee
  • Wine
  • Fruit Juice
  • Soda
  • Sports drinks

What happens when the enamel erodes?

Discoloration

When your enamel begins to erode, the dentin underneath becomes more exposed. This is one reason why some people’s teeth look more yellow than others. Dentin is more yellow-colored than it is white.

Sensitivity

In some cases, erosion can cause temperature sensitivity. This is due to the increased exposure of the dentin and the nerves inside of the teeth.

Chips, Ridges, and Cracks

Enamel tends to wear unevenly, causing jagged edges on the teeth as well as an increased susceptibility to chips and cracks.

Are there ways to protect your teeth?

Yes! There are several ways to protect your teeth against harmful acidic beverages as well as the wear-and-tear damage of teeth grinding. Follow these tips for strong teeth:

  • Use a fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Brush with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Eliminate or reduce your intake of highly acidic beverages.
  • Drink an ample amount of water to prevent dry mouth. Dry mouth leaves the teeth susceptible to bacteria and subsequent damage.

If erosion does occur, how can you repair the damage?

Depending on the extent of damage that your teeth sustain, treatments can vary. In some cases, the damage negatively affects not only your dental health but your self-esteem by discoloring and changing the shape of your teeth. For this reason, many people choose to get their teeth cosmetically enhanced using veneers, bonding, teeth whitening treatments and/or custom crowns.

Unfortunately, teeth cannot heal themselves. Visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups is vital in protecting your teeth from further damage. At Advanced DDS, we proudly treat all our patients with respect, compassion, and sincerity. Schedule your dental appointment at 516-825-1100 for high-quality dentistry in Garden City, NY today.

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