The enamel of the teeth is one of the strongest substances in the body. It needs to be strong to withstand chewing and biting, which allows you to digest your food properly. However, just because it’s durable doesn’t mean that it can’t be affected by particular oral health concerns. The enamel of the teeth is still susceptible to damage, especially acids that can cause harm to the tooth and result in the development of cavities. Everyday habits might be impacting the strength and thickness of your dental enamel, so it is vital that you take good care of the smile and reduce your risk of enamel erosion. San Diego, CA area dentist, Dr. Robert Lozano or RB Dental Excellence, educates patients on tooth enamel and how to protect it.
What is tooth enamel?
Dr. Robert Lozano describes tooth enamel is the outermost layer of the natural tooth. It is what covers the crown and root of the tooth. Though it is strong, it is not indestructible. The consumption of certain beverages, such as juices, sodas, and coffee can stain the enamel of the teeth, and erosion can occur due to acids left on the surfaces of the teeth. Additionally, patients might also experience wearing of the dental enamel, especially if they have poor bite alignment or conditions such as bruxism which can cause clenching and grinding of the teeth. Situations like this can thin the dental enamel and reveal the inner layer known as the dentin. Exposure of the dentin can cause both sensitivity to the tooth and tooth pain.
How is tooth enamel different from bone?
Tooth enamel is actually stronger than natural bone in the body. Enamel doesn’t have any living tissue and covers and protects the layer underneath, known as the dentin. When dental enamel is worn down, it can cause discomfort and other problems for the patient that needs to be addressed with the help of an experienced dentist.
What does tooth enamel look like?
Tooth enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth and the most visible. It is typically a white color and can become stained by certain habits such as smoking, chewing tobacco, or regular consumption of staining beverages, including coffees and red wines.
What can cause the loss of natural tooth enamel?
Some of the reasons why a patient might experience the loss of natural tooth enamel are due to:
- Poor bite alignment. If the teeth are not properly aligned on the top and bottom dental arch, certain touch points can cause the wearing of the natural tooth enamel over time. Orthodontic treatment to realign the dental arch and improve the bite can reduce worn enamel.
- Bruxism. Bruxism is a condition that causes a patient to clench and grind the teeth. When this happens, it can cause irreversible wear on the natural tooth enamel and result in sensitivity of the damaged teeth. Bruxism can be addressed by wearing an oral appliance at night to protect the smile.
- Cavities. Acids and sugars on the teeth can cause damage to the dental enamel and result in cavities, which are holes of decay that can form in the smile. Cavities are addressed with dental fillings in most situations.
How can you repair enamel on your teeth?
Dental erosion cannot be repaired. However, a dentist may protect the tooth or offer an extra layer of protection against further damage by placing a crown, veneer, or composite resin bonding on the exposed tooth. Further damage might also be avoided with the wearing of a night guard and fluoride toothpaste and mouthwashes.
San Diego, CA area dentist, Dr. Robert Lozano, provides patients in the community with comprehensive dental services. If you are ready to find out more about restoring natural tooth enamel and repairing the smile after enamel loss, connect with our team today by calling (858) 485-0707. We are conveniently located at 16959 Bernardo Center Drive, Suite #103, and accept new patients at the practice of RB Dental Excellence.