Your Guide To Tooth Enamel & Erosion
Tooth enamel is the surface layer of your teeth that protects them from damage and decay.
Although this mineral substance is stronger than bone, it can be weakened and permanently destroyed. Here’s a look at what can cause enamel damage and how to prevent it.
What causes enamel to erode?
There are two types of enamel damage: abrasion and erosion. Enamel abrasion can be caused when a hard-bristled toothbrush, toothpick or other object rubs against the teeth. Erosion, on the other hand, occurs when teeth are frequently exposed to acidic foods and drinks or plaque.
Constant exposure to stomach acid can also cause the enamel on your teeth to erode. Bulimia and binge drinking, which are characterized by frequent vomiting and acid reflux, can increase the risk of enamel damage. There are also certain genetic conditions and medications that can weaken enamel.
What are the signs of damage?
The signs of enamel erosion or abrasion vary depending on the severity of the damage. Some common symptoms include:
- Tooth discolouration
- Increased sensitivity to cold, hot or sweet foods
- Cracks, chips and rough teeth edges
- Indentations on the surface of the teeth, especially at the gum line
Tooth decay can be another indicator of enamel damage since the loss of this protective layer leaves teeth more susceptible to cavities and infection.
Can enamel be repaired?
Unfortunately, there’s no way to rebuild damaged tooth enamel. However, it’s possible to repair weakened enamel using fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens the outer layer of your teeth. It also helps protect your teeth from plaque.
How do you prevent enamel erosion?
An effective way to protect your teeth is to adopt a rigorous oral hygiene routine. In particular, you should brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. You should also floss daily and visit your dentist twice a year for a professional dental exam and cleaning.
Additionally, you can eliminate highly acidic foods and beverages from your diet. This includes soft drinks and citrus fruits. If you do consume an acidic drink, use a straw and rinse your mouth with water immediately after. You should also drink plenty of water throughout the day to flush away food particles and bacteria.
Visit a Dentist in Red Deer at Parkland Mall Dental Centre
At Parkland Mall Dental Centre, we offer a range of general and cosmetic dentistry services to help you maintain a healthy smile that you feel confident showing off. For more information or to schedule an appointment at our Red Deer clinic, contact us today or call 403-342-1118.