Enamel is the hardest and toughest tissue of your body – even stronger than your bones. It is the outer layer or covering of your teeth. It protects against physical and chemical damage. Your teeth are exposed to different types of chemicals present in foods and bodily fluids. Enamel is the first defense and protective covering against different chemicals. It is also prone to wear and tear – which is known as enamel erosion.
What are the symptoms of enamel erosion?
The signs and symptoms associated with enamel erosion can vary. In general, they often include the following:
Cups or indentations on the surface of your teeth
Discoloration of teeth
Cracks and chips in teeth
Increased sensitivity to temperature, textures, and tastes
If you have a significant erosion of enamel, you will experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Discoloration of your teeth
- Extremely high sensitivity to cold, spicy, hot, icy, and acidic foods and drinks
- Pain with sensitivity
- Enamel erosion is a gradual and progressive process – over a period of time, it may lead to the following complications:
- Fractured teeth
- Increased tooth decay
- The slow wearing of enamel – leads to slightly translucent and clean teeth
- Shiny spots on your teeth
- Rough edges on teeth
- Overly sensitive teeth
- Stained and yellowish teeth
What are the causes of enamel erosion?
When you eat acidic foods, your saliva neutralizes those foods and the drinks or beverages you take. However, excess consumption of acidic foods and drinks can hamper this neutralizing process. Furthermore, if you don’t take care of your oral dental hygiene (if you don’t properly brush your teeth), the protective covering or the enamel layer of your teeth deteriorates over a period of time.
Sugary and acidic foods that you eat regularly can cause enamel erosion. Fruit juices, sodas with phosphoric and citric acid; ice creams, caramel, syrups, and starchy foods such as bread can cause enamel erosion. Citrus fruits with excess vitamin C and acidic fruits such as berries, citrus fruits, apples, and rhubarb can also cause enamel erosion.
What are the other causes of enamel damage?
A dry mouth due to low salivary secretion (low saliva) can also cause enamel erosion. Xerostomia (low salivary flow) is a symptom of diabetes. The other causes of enamel erosion may include:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic acid reflux disease
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Excessive use of medicines – such as aspirin and antihistamines
Bulimia – an eating disorder that affects the digestive system and exposes teeth to stomach acid
Enamel hypoplasia is a genetic condition that affects tooth development
Does Enamel Erosion Cause Irreversible Damage?
Though enamel is very tough, it doesn’t have any living cells. Therefore, enamel doesn’t repair or regrow once it is subjected to physical or chemical damage. This means that enamel erosion is an irreversible process – it won’t grow back. Enamel erosion is a long and lengthy process. Even if you have lost some enamel due to damage, you can still prevent it from further erosion and damage.
How is enamel damage prevented and treated?
The best way in which you can prevent enamel erosion is by practicing good oral hygiene. Meet our expert dentist at Gnathos Dental Clinic to learn more about dental and oral hygiene.
There are several procedures and techniques with which your dentist can help prevent enamel erosion and restore your damaged tooth. In one such procedure called bonding, your dentist applies teeth-colored composite resin to your stained or damaged tooth to cover up discoloration and protect your tooth. If you have heightened sensitivity and extensive damage then your dentist may add a veneer or dental crown to your damaged tooth to prevent it from further decay.
Remember! Tooth enamel can’t be regrown. Even if it is not possible to regrow your teeth’ enamel, you can prevent it from getting worse provided you take action quickly after noticing the damage. If you have teeth sensitivity and pain then meet expert dentists at Gnathos Dental Clinic for the most effective treatment.