Tooth enamel decay and a cavity can have a high potential of occurring due to erosion. You have to get it checked by your dental specialist to prevent it from getting more severe. The tooth enamel serves as the protection of our teeth from our daily use, such as chewing. If erosion occurs, it can cause significant effects on our teeth, which we will mention in this article later on.
The enamel of our teeth plays a vital role for us. It is the thin outer layer that protects the teeth from physical and chemical damage. Furthermore, it is the firmest tissue that a human body has. It is even rigid than our bones.
Enamel is our tooth’s first defense against the chemicals inside the food and drinks we take. Aside from that, it even insulates our teeth from potential pain due to temperature and chemicals.
You may consider watching this short video to know more about tooth enamel.
However, despite this enamel’s characteristic, it is still prone to wear and tear. These wear and tear are what we call tooth enamel erosion. Moreover, it doesn’t have the property to repair itself. As a result, once the tooth encounters chips or breaks, the damage is there forever.
Tooth enamel erosion
Tooth enamel erosion usually happens when there is an extreme acid attack. Dentine is the part of the teeth beneath the enamel and cementum. Once the dentine becomes exposed, the teeth can experience pain and sensitivity.
Here are a few of the possible symptoms to identify if you have tooth enamel erosion.
- increased sensitivity
- cracks and chips
- indentations or cups
These symptoms are only the primary conditions an individual’s enamel becomes eroded. Furthermore, it can lead to more complications in the long run.
Causes of enamel erosion
Generally speaking, erosion can happen due to external and internal causes. The external causes include your diet, medicines, and acid exposure in your environment. Several foods and drinks can cause dental erosion, such as fruit juices, soft drinks, wine, citrus foods, and many more. Extreme exposure to these foods and beverages can lead to dental deterioration.
On the other hand, some medications can also cause erosion as its side effects, such as chewable vitamin C tablets or mouth rinses. Lastly, some jobs make people susceptible to tooth enamel erosion. These jobs include wine professionals or metal sheet workers. Furthermore, using pools and spas with inadequate chlorine amount increases the risk of tooth erosion.
As for the internal causes, some health conditions can have tooth erosion as their side effect. It includes excessive vomiting, bulimia, acid reflux, dry mouth, or alcoholism. However, these health conditions are curable. You only have to act on it immediately to prevent enamel deterioration.
Severe tooth enamel erosion
If the enamel erodes, it exposes an individual at a high risk of developing tooth decay and cavity. Tooth decay is the result of the enamel’s destruction, to put it another way. In this case, the tooth enamel can no longer do its purpose due to erosion.
With an eroded enamel, it cannot hold longer the constant formation of plaque. In effect, the bacteria in plaque will continue to produce more acid. Severe erosion will lead to tooth decay. However, tooth decay is not the only complication you might encounter.
Once your condition progresses, tooth decay will not be the only concern you have to address. It can even lead to other oral health problems, such as gum disease or severe tooth worn out. For this reason, you have to prevent enamel erosion and tooth decay as well.
Preventing enamel erosion
Even though enamel can no longer grow back, we can do something to prevent erosion from happening. Excellent dental care can help us prevent erosion, including other oral health conditions, such as tooth decay. Please try to consider doing these tips and see the difference they can bring to your oral health.
- Cut down your intake of acidic foods and beverages. Additionally, it would be best to have it at mealtimes to make it easier for the enamel. Furthermore, it would help if you choose those with low-acid content.
- Moreover, rinsing your mouth with water after taking acidic food or drink would be better. Aside from that, a glass of milk or a piece of cheese can cancel out acids.
- For acidic beverages, it is preferable to use straws so that they can bypass your teeth. Don’t even swish them inside your mouth to reduce acid contact in your teeth.
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush is better in addition to the gentle way of brushing. Besides that, brush at least 30 minutes after having acidic foods and beverages.
- Fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash can also protect you from erosion and tooth decay. Fluoride toothpaste can provide strength to tooth enamel and makes teeth less sensitive.
- If you have existing health conditions, have them treated as soon as possible.
On the condition that your enamel erosion is already existing, dentists can offer you treatment options to work on it.
- Dental fillings – for minor enamel erosion and tooth decay.
- Crowns – excellent for extensive decay
- Dental bonding – protects multiple teeth surfaces.
- Veneers – offer permanent teeth protection.
However, additional dental procedures may take place, depending on the level of erosion. Dentists can consider root canal or extraction for severe cases. For this reason, you have to make a prior consultation with your dentist for complete awareness.
As has been noted, the enamel can neither repair itself nor grow back. For this reason, we have to do our part to strengthen the enamel. Moreover, doing preventive dental care is necessary. If you already suspect that you are experiencing dental erosion, make an appointment with your dentist.
Enamel erosion is entirely irreversible. For this reason, you have to take care of it as early as possible. In effect, you will get a lower chance of incurring permanent damage to your enamel. Aside from that, you will decrease your risk of developing oral health issues.
Excellent dental care now; gain healthy teeth and a brighter smile later.