Tooth enamel is the outer covering of the tooth. It covers the crown of the tooth, which is the most visible part of the tooth. Enamel itself is transparent. However, liquids like juice, coffee, wine, and sodas can stain enamel and discolor your teeth. Cigarettes are also known to stain and discolor teeth. Thankfully, these stains can be removed during dental cleanings and regular dentist visits. While enamel acts as a protective layer for your teeth, it is not indestructible. It is important to practice good oral hygiene to keep your teeth strong. Learning about proper cleaning techniques and good hygiene can keep your teeth from suffering from long-term damage.
What Does Tooth Enamel Do?
Tooth enamel acts as a shield for your teeth. It protects them from damage during the daily use of your teeth. However, enamel can deteriorate, chip, and crack. Enamel also works as an insulator for your teeth, protecting your teeth from harmful temperatures. Unfortunately, once enamel breaks or chips, it does not repair itself. If you find yourself with a broken or chipped tooth, you must reach out to a dental professional to get it repaired. Enamel can also be eroded away.
Enamel erosion occurs when acids wash away the enamel. This can expose the dentin that makes up your teeth. Some of the most common causes of enamel erosion include:
- High sugar and starch diets,
- Acid reflux disease
- Excessive soft drink consumption
- Gastrointestinal problems
These are not the only factors that contribute to enamel erosion. Outside factors can also have an impact on the strength of your enamel. Friction, stress, and corrosion can severely impact your tooth enamel. Teeth grinding can wear down your teeth and enamel over time. Most people who grind their teeth do it in their sleep and are unaware they are doing it. Using a mouthguard can keep you from grinding your teeth in your sleep.
Signs of Tooth Enamel Erosion
Enamel erosion can happen to anyone. It is important to know the signs of erosion so you can make the proper changes to prevent it from getting worse. Some of the most common signs of erosion include:
- Sensitivity to certain foods and temperatures
- Discoloration of your teeth
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- Severe, painful sensitivity
As enamel erodes, the risk of developing a cavity or tooth decay increases. While most cavities can be fixed relatively easily, it is important to get them repaired sooner rather than later to avoid infections or an abscess.
How To Avoid Tooth Enamel Loss
The best way to protect your teeth is to floss at least once a day and brush twice a day. Good oral hygiene starts at home. There are a number of ways that doctors advise to prevent dental erosion. One of the best ways to avoid enamel erosion is to change up your diet. Eliminating highly acidic foods and drinks can protect your enamel. Rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking them can help keep acid from sitting on your teeth. Using fluoride toothpaste strengthens your teeth and helps combat erosion. A dentist can help you look into dental sealants that can be helpful in preventing erosion.
Get Help From LoveJoy Dentistry Today
Tooth enamel is a crucial part of your teeth. it is important to take care of it just like it protects your teeth. At LoveJoy Dentistry, we offer a number of dental services to help you keep your smile healthy. Some of the services we provide include:
- Porcelain Veneers
- Teeth Whitening Services
- Composite Fillings
- Oral Cancer Screenings
- Periodontal Therapy Services
If you have questions about tooth enamel or any of the services we provide, call 972.449.7411 to speak to a dental professional and learn more.