04 Oct CAUSES & PREVENTION OF ENAMEL EROSION
Enamel is a tough, outermost protective layer of the tooth. The white-colored protective layer is rich in calcium that accounts for its strength. Its prime function is to protect the inner, delicate tissues of the teeth from the physical and chemical damage caused by harmful bacteria and acids. However, the plaque and bacteria attack the enamel and decay the tooth. Here is a quick overview of enamel erosion, its cause and how you can prevent the erosion.
WHAT IS ENAMEL EROSION?
Whatever food you eat or liquids you drink, the first thing to come in contact with these is the tooth enamel; hence it suffers maximum of physical and chemical damages. The acids from the foods and drinks that you consume lead to the destruction of the enamel. However, saliva in the mouth neutralizes these acids to save your enamel and dental health. But if the acidic level is too high or you frequently consume acidic foods, or the saliva production gets reduced due to dry mouth, the enamel gets worn out by the acids. The wear and tear of the enamel due to acidic reaction or physical damages is known as enamel erosion.
A major concern of enamel erosion is that it is an irreversible condition. As enamel does not comprise any living cells, it cannot regrow once eroded.
WHAT CAUSES ENAMEL EROSION?
Enamel erosion is caused by the foods and drinks you consume and some other factors as mentioned below.
- Consumption of acidic foods
- Sugary foods like sweets, candies, syrups and caramel
- Starchy foods like white bread
- Alcohol, sodas and acidic drinks damage the enamel
- Improper brushing of teeth
- Teeth grinding
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Plaque formation
- Dry mouth & reduced saliva production
SYMPTOMS OF ENAMEL EROSION
Enamel is rich in calcium, and it renders a bright white color to the teeth. Removal of enamel exposes the inner dentin tissue of the teeth that is pale yellow in color. Hence your teeth appear yellow color when the enamel gets destructed.
- Tooth discoloration and yellow stained teeth
- Teeth sensitivity as the foods you eat, acids & bacteria travel through the broken enamel to the tooth root.
- The chipping of enamel creates rough edges on your teeth.
- Fractured teeth and tooth decay because of the exposure of tooth roots to external attacks.
TREATMENT & PREVENTION OF ENAMEL EROSION
Enamel erosion is an irreversible condition as the enamel cannot regrow, however, the dentist uses teeth bonding technique to help better the condition. A tooth-colored resin is applied to the damaged tooth that covers the discoloration and protects the tooth. If the erosion is severe, the dentist may also place a dental veneer or crown to enhance the protection further.
- Enamel erosion can be prevented by nourishing good care for your dental health.
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly to prevent plaque formation that releases acids to damage the enamel.
- Limit the consumption of acidic beverages, sodas and alcohol.
- Limit the consumption of fast foods and sugary foods that harm your dental health.
- Rinse your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce the acidity in the mouth and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Mouthwash also removes the food residues and debris from the mouth; hence rinse your mouth with mouthwash soon after consuming sugary or acidic foods.
- Eat calcium-rich dairy foods like milk, cheese, yoghurt that strengthen the enamel.
- Chew sugar-free gums between your meals to promote the production of saliva that neutralizes the acids in the mouth. Sugar-free chewing gums are good for dental health.
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dry mouth conditions & boost saliva production.
- Wear a mouthguard to prevent the chipping of enamel because of teeth grinding.
- Get your gastrointestinal diseases treated that reverse the harmful acids from the stomach to the mouth and damage the enamel.
- Eat fibrous fruits and vegetables that boost your oral health.
By following the above-mentioned steps, you can protect your oral health from enamel erosion and other dental defects. Also, visit the dentist for your regular dental checkups to keep a check on your dental health, and the dental cleaning removes the plaque and tartar. Visit our clinic, The Elite Dental Care, the best dental clinic in Tracy, California for your dental treatments.