Signs of Enamel Erosion
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26 October 2022

Signs of Enamel Erosion

Enamel erosion is the root cause of many dental issues. Dental infections and diseases are advanced stages of dental problems which have enamel erosion as their initial symptoms. Thus enamel erosion and its symptoms should not be neglected. 


What is Enamel Erosion? 


Enamel is the protective coating on the teeth. It is the hardest tissue in the human body which acts as a shield on the teeth and protects it from wear and serious damage. The erosion of this layer on the teeth is called enamel erosion. Our food intake and dental care techniques hugely affect the rate at which this erosion occurs.  


Enamel protects the central part of the tooth called dentin. The natural color of the teeth is the color of the dentin inside. Since the enamel coating is translucent the color of the dentin is visible from the outside. Excessive consumption of tea, coffee, or chewing tobacco can stain the layer. Acidic foods tend to not just stain the enamel but also break down the bond with dentin and eventually leading to erosion. 


Signs of Enamel Erosion 


There are many ways in which enamel erosion shows up or is experienced. It depends on the degree and cause of erosion. Here are a few commonly seen signs of enamel erosion: 


1.Sensitivity: It is sharp pain experienced when hot or cold food is consumed. It can also be felt during the consumption of sweets. This happens when the enamel coating gets eroded and the dentin part of the teeth gets exposed to the foods we consume. The temperature difference is sharply felt by the dentin and the nerves beneath the gums. This causes pain and discomfort.  


2.Discoloration: When the enamel gets eroded the natural color of the teeth i.e., the color of the dentin is clearly visible. It is the natural color of the teeth. Therefore, enamel erosion makes the teeth look yellowish in color.  


3.Cracked Teeth: Since enamel erosion exposes the dentin part of the teeth and the nerves beneath it, they are more prone to cracking and damage. Hence, cracked teeth that are chipping can also be a symptom of enamel erosion. 


These symptoms are the initial stages of enamel erosion. If they are neglected they can lead to serious damage and infection. Hence after identifying any of these symptoms an immediate dentist consultation is advised. 


Causes of Enamel Erosion 


Unhygienic dental care habits cause every possible dental problem and enamel erosion is no different. A few of the most common causes of enamel erosion are: 


1.Sugary Foods: The bacteria that gets built up on the teeth thrives on sugary foods and drinks. This causes the enamel coating to break down and further expose the dentin part of the teeth. The foods that are consumed especially acidic ones cause serious damage to the enamel coating. These acids in the food break down the bond between the enamel and the tooth. This causes enamel erosion. 



2. Hard Brushing: Most people tend to brush their teeth vigorously with a hard bristled toothbrush in order to clean them efficiently. But this can be counterproductive as the enamel coating gets scraped out from the teeth. Thus gentle brushing with a soft bristled toothbrush is always advised to keep the enamel intact.  


3.Irregular Flossing: The bacteria and the plaque around the gumline can cause serious dental problems if it is not removed through flossing. Many dentists suggest flossing every day to keep plaque build at bay. This prevented enamel erosion and further damage to the teeth.  


Apart from these causes, there are other reasons for enamel erosion. Dry mouth, tobacco, and alcohol consumption are some of the very many consumables that are harmful to the teeth and must be avoided.