All of us are familiar with the importance of maintaining good dental hygiene—not only does it make our teeth last longer, it helps maintain our facial structure as we age and gives us a confident smile.
Most importantly, maintaining good dental hygiene habits and visiting the dentist regularly minimizes risks of tooth decay dramatically. And since decay or erosion is the culprit behind most dental problems, prevention starts by understanding what causes it and if it can be repaired.
Let’s explore how dental erosion wears away tooth enamel and rots your teeth leading to severe diseases like gingivitis.
WHAT IS TOOTH ENAMEL EROSION?
The enamel is a thin natural coating on the teeth. It is the hardest tissue in the human body, and for good reason— it protects the inner layer of the teeth from daily use like chewing, biting and grinding.
Enamel erosion is caused by excessive intake of acidic food and drinks. The acidic content in carbonated drinks and sugar from processed foods causes bacteria to form on the teeth. If teeth are not cleaned properly, bacteria continue to multiply, leading to stubborn plaque deposits. This buildup then starts settling within the gaps and under the gum lining, slowly eating away at the enamel.
Certain medical conditions like acid reflux and gastrointestinal problems can also lead to dental wear. If you have had a bad oral health from a young age, it’s likely that genetics have caused tooth damage.
A toothache, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures and discolored yellow teeth, all point towards enamel erosion. Teeth that tend to chip or crack easily are also indicative or severe enamel erosion.
TREATMENT FOR TOOTH ENAMEL EROSION
The tooth enamel, once eroded, cannot grow back naturally. A dental intervention is needed to protect the teeth from further damage.
The dentist incorporates a mixture of calcium and fluoride to help build back the lost enamel. Dental procedures are used to apply mineral products that will strengthen the enamel and prevent it from further damage.
Usually used as a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of teeth, bonding can also be used to protect the teeth after the natural enamel wears off. A thin layer of a resin substance is applied to the outer surface which matches the color of your teeth. It bonds with the teeth and forms a protective layer which prevents cavity and tooth decay.
If the enamel has worn off and caused serious damage to the teeth, your dentist might recommend using a dental crown to cover the teeth. This protective cap is placed on top of the natural teeth and can help in eating and chewing food.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
It’s better to prevent cavities and tooth decay that results from tooth enamel erosion. Protect your teeth from external attacks by eliminating sugary foods and carbonated drinks from your diet. Use a straw to drink sodas as the citric acid in carbonated drinks can lead to enamel erosion.
Brush your teeth daily, at least twice a day. Get in the habit of flossing after every meal to get rid of the food particles stuck in between the teeth.
Visit your dentist every 4 to 6 months for healthy gums and teeth to help maintain a beautiful smile.
We provide reliable treatment options for tooth enamel erosion. Our dental office located in Crystal Lake provides customers with all sorts of dental procedures, from same day dentures, and cosmetic dentistry services to preventative cleanings.
Book an appointment today and get in touch with our team of professionals to help you with your dental needs and concerns.