The enamel of your teeth is the outer layer of protection. It is also the hardest and most mineralized substance in your entire body. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean your enamel is invincible. In fact, this outer covering of your teeth can be quickly compromised by the acids created by oral bacteria. When enamel wears thin, erodes or demineralizes, the tooth loses its protective barrier and a series of unwanted events can occur.
To understand enamel erosion better, it is helpful to understand the role that saliva has in your mouth. Saliva isn’t just a way to hydrate your tongue and help you swallow and speak more comfortably. Saliva is the first line of defense against enamel damage. There are important minerals in your saliva that can help strengthen (remineralize) your tooth enamel. Saliva also helps to keep the pH in your mouth at a more neutral state, which means a less acidic environment for your pearly whites. It makes sense, therefore, that those with a dry mouth are at an increased risk for enamel erosion or the demineralization of the outer layer of the teeth.
What Can Enamel Erosion Mean for Your Smile?
When this strong defensive barrier of tooth structure wears thin or erodes, it can trigger a variety of setbacks to your dental health, your comfort and even your smile aesthetics. Enamel erosion can lead to the following:
- Frequent Cavities (tiny holes in your enamel)
- Sensitive Teeth (tooth nerves exposed)
- Yellow Teeth (dentin layer shows through)
What You Can Do
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to avoid the loss of tooth enamel and encourage remineralization within your smile. Incorporate the following into your dental care plan:
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss daily.
- Avoid sugary foods and acidic drinks.
- Eat foods rich in calcium and phosphorous.
- Attend dental check-ups and professional cleanings.
- Consider oral care products that contain fluoride and natural calcium.
Think you may have enamel erosion? Call Dr. Mitzi Morris in Roswell. We can help prevent many dental concerns by helping you protect your tooth enamel!