As you may or may not know, tooth enamel is the thin outer layer on your teeth that creates a smooth to the touch shell over each tooth. And although many people think it is the enamel that causes their teeth look white, it is actually the dentin beneath it, as enamel is in fact translucent.
The Importance of Enamel
Enamel is responsible for keeping your teeth healthy. In fact, tooth enamel is imperative to the health of your teeth and helps to protect your teeth from all the rigors they endure. Whether biting, chewing, grinding or fulfilling other such tooth-duties or habits, enamel is the outer ‘bodyguard’ – if you will – that protects your teeth from harm. But it also bears mentioning, that once tooth enamel is damaged – it is damaged forever.
It should also be mentioned that it is the enamel that can becomes stained and create “darker” looking teeth without regular cleaning and/or whitening treatments.
What Causes Enamel Damage?
Enamel damage is caused by a variety of factors, including normal wear and tear to your teeth.
Other contributors include:
– Dry mouth due to medication or certain health conditions
– Medication of various kinds
– Teeth grinding – also known as bruxism
– Corrosion due to constant exposure to acidic foods or drinks, GERD, vomiting due to bulimia or alcoholism, among other factors.
Can Plaque Create Enamel Erosion?
Plaque bacteria can change starches into acids, which can then cause harm to the healthy minerals found in tooth enamel, so although it doesn’t directly create it – it can be a contributing factor and a good reason for regular cleanings.
Recognizing When Enamel Erosion is Occurring
Signs of enamel erosion include: tooth sensitivity, discolouration, cracks, chips and your teeth generally becoming increasingly brittle – as well as teeth indentations and other less-noticeable things a dental professional would recognize.
Can You Prevent Enamel Erosion?
As with oral health in general, brushing, flossing and rinsing with a fluoride and antiseptic mouthwash daily will help you to maintain your smile, along with avoiding the aforementioned causes and regular dental checkups and cleanings – all will help to keep enamel erosion at bay.
At DentistsRUs, we can provide you with a dental professional in your local Lower Mainland area who can help you prevent enamel erosion and tooth decay. So call or click on any of our locations, and secure an appointment in order to keep your smile healthy and your enamel intact for years to come!
Burnaby Sedation & General Dentistry | 250 – 3433 North Rd. Burnaby, BC
Langley Sedation & General Dentistry | #103 – 19978 72nd Avenue Langley, BC
Coquitlam Sedation & General Dentistry | #1412-2929 Barnet Hwy, Coquitlam, BC
Port Coquitlam Sedation & General Dentistry | #103 3380 David Ave, Coquitlam, BC
New Westminster Sedation & General Dentistry | 243-800 Carnarvon St. New Westminster, BC