Healthy tooth enamel is essential to the overall health of our mouth, teeth, and gums. Located like a shell on the outside of our teeth, enamel is what keeps our teeth strong and protects the tooth from being damaged.
Usually, tooth enamel is an extremely hard substance – even harder than bone. But consistently drinking or eating sugary foods and drinks can begin to break down the enamel’s composition. When the enamel begins to break down, it exposes the tooth to damage and cracks. Fortunately, there are certain ways to restore the strength of your tooth enamel.
Tooth Enamel: Loss, Erosion, and Repair
Can you rebuild tooth enamel? This is a question many people ask themselves when they have dental work done. And the answer, unfortunately, is no. To help prevent future issues with your teeth, it’s important to take care of them now. It’s also important to remember that brushing your teeth twice per day and flossing are not enough for good oral hygiene! In this blog post, we will discuss what causes tooth decay and how to prevent it from happening in the future.
What Is Tooth Enamel?
Teeth are made of a hard mineral called dentin, covered by softer tissues that protect the tooth and hold it in place. This covering is called enamel. Enamel has two main functions: protecting the exposed dentin from wear, and helping teeth to appear shiny white so they look healthy. The outermost layer of enamel can withstand contact with hot foods and drinks because it’s fused to an extremely strong protein material called cementum (the tissue that covers roots).
Enamel is the hardest substance in your body. It’s roughly as hard as nails and can withstand a lot of abuse before it chips or breaks. The enamel on healthy teeth will be highly mineralized with calcium salts that give strength and hardness to the tooth surface, but if this protective layer gets worn away then brushing won’t protect the underlying dentin from decay-causing acid attacks. So what causes damage to tooth enamel?
The primary cause of dental caries (tooth decay) is bacteria which produce acids when they digest sugars like glucose or sucrose in food debris left behind by chewing. These acids wear down the tooth surfaces under them, creating holes where infectious agents can enter into all layers below: softer tissues, dentin, and even the pulp. These acids also cause tooth enamel to dissolve by breaking up its mineral structure so that it can’t harden again after exposure to saliva or food debris left behind by chewing.
So how can you prevent this from happening? One thing is certain: clean teeth are not enough! It’s important to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste (which helps remineralize damaged surfaces) plus floss daily as well. All these habits help remove bacteria from plaque buildup on teeth which could produce acid and wear down tooth enamel over time without brushing or flossing consistently! And of course make sure to see us at Dental Care Associates for dental check-ups every six months because our hygienists can provide a dental exam that will check for any signs of tooth decay or diseases.
Finally, it’s important to remember that brushing your teeth twice per day and flossing are not enough for good oral hygiene! In this blog post, we will discuss what causes tooth decay and how to prevent it from happening in the future.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
Bacteria which produce acids when they digest… left behind by chewing. These acids wear down the tooth surfaces under them, creating holes where infectious agents can enter into all layers below: softer tissues, dentin, and even the pulp. These acids also cause tooth enamel to dissolve by breaking up its mineral structure so that it can’t harden again after exposure to saliva or food debris left behind by chewing.
How Can You Prevent Tooth Decay?
One thing is certain: clean teeth are not enough! It’s important to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste (which helps remineralize damaged surfaces) plus floss daily as well. All these habits help remove bacteria from plaque buildup on teeth which could produce acid and wear down tooth enamel over time without brushing or flossing consistently! And of course, make sure to see us at Dental Care Associates for dental check-ups every six months because our hygienists can provide a dental exam that will check for any signs of tooth decay or diseases.
Can Tooth Enamel Be Restored?
A tooth’s enamel can be restored in two ways: grinding it down, and building it up. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste or rinse, the enamel is actually getting roughed up by tiny abrasive particles like sandpaper (though not as rough)! This helps to remove plaque buildup on top of the tooth surface so that bacteria can’t stick to them. At Dental Care Associates we will always recommend this before polishing dental surfaces for increased resistance against decay!
But how do we build new layers of protective dentin? The answer is called re-mineralization where calcium ions from saliva react with dissolved substances such as phosphorus and salt which are found in food debris left behind by chewing. These ions get deposited onto the tooth surfaces and in areas where it would naturally dissolve with acid exposure, creating a protective layer that is more resistant to decay.
Certain foods and drinks are bad for the enamel of your teeth, but there are a number of other lifestyle behaviors or habits that can compromise your tooth enamel. In addition to sugary drinks and foods, your tooth enamel can break down from things like acidic foods or even caffeine.
If you grind your teeth at night, this could also damage your tooth enamel. Certain medications, acid reflux disease, and gastrointestinal problems are also all known for reducing the strength of tooth enamel. Habits like using chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes can also compromise the strength of your tooth enamel.
The best way to avoid needing to restore tooth enamel is to eliminate sugary or acidic foods from your diet and to get other conditions, like acid reflux disease or tooth grinding, under control.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR TOOTH ENAMEL IS ERODING
Tooth enamel is a clear barrier, so you aren’t able to see the enamel on your teeth. This can make it difficult to tell if eroding tooth enamel is a problem for you. While tooth enamel care is important for everyone, it is also important to know if it is a serious problem for you and the health of your mouth and teeth.
One of the clearest signs that your tooth enamel is eroding is that you have new sensitivity to cold or hot foods. You may also notice that your teeth begin to yellow or that you have stains on the surface of your teeth. Another sign that your beginning to lose your tooth enamel is having chips, cracks, indentations, or pits in your teeth.
RESTORING TOOTH ENAMEL
Unfortunately, it is impossible for your body to create new tooth enamel. That means that once the enamel is damaged, the body will be unable to create new tooth enamel to replace it. It also means you need to take extra precaution and care to maintain and strengthen the enamel you already have. There are a number of ways you can do that.
1. Brush with Fluoride Toothpaste
There are many toothpastes on the market that contain fluoride. That is because fluoride has the ability to protect teeth from acid and stop your tooth enamel from decaying any further. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste can help you restore the strength of your tooth enamel.
It is always important to talk to your doctor before using a fluoride product. If your doctor believes your teeth would benefit from a high level fluoride product, they can prescribe you with something better than you would find in a drugstore. On the other side, too much fluoride can actually be damaging to your teeth. Talk to your dentist about your options to find the right amount for you.
2. Use a Fluoride Mouthwash
If putting fluoride directly on your teeth in the form of toothpaste is too much for you and your enamel condition, a fluoride mouthwash can deliver the same benefits but in a less intense way. Gargling with a fluoride mouthwash can coat your teeth in fluoride, protecting your enamel from being further damaged.
3. Get the Right Amount of Minerals
The decay of tooth enamel can be a sign that your body is missing the necessary vitamins and minerals. Make up for the loss of minerals and vitamins by ensuring you eat a healthy and complete diet. If you need additional vitamins or minerals, introduce a supplement into your daily routine.
In most circumstances, a calcium or vitamin D supplement can help restore the strength of your tooth enamel. Coconut oil can make another excellent addition.
4. Get Crowns or Veneers
If your tooth enamel is damaged to the point that restoration isn’t possible or it is unable to adequately protect your teeth, you might need to go through more serious dental procedures, such as getting crowns or veneers.
Having the protection of a replacement tooth surface can protect your teeth from gaining sensitivity or preventing further damage to your teeth. If your teeth have become chipped or cracked due to a loss of tooth enamel, getting them covered by crowns or veneers can get you back to living a healthy and comfortable lifestyle with higher levels of confidence.
The best way to keep your tooth enamel heathy and strong is to reduce the number of enamel damaging behaviors you partake in. If you are consistently drinking sodas or fruit juices that are high in sugar, consider swapping it out for water or other sugar-free drinks. You should also reduce the amount of high-caffeine beverages you drink.
Remember, once your tooth enamel is gone, you won’t be able to get it back. That is why it is incredibly important to always practice good oral hygiene habits. The consistent use of fluoride toothpastes or mouthwashes can keep your tooth enamel strong and healthy. You should also be careful not to use toothpastes or mouthwashes that contain alcohol, so be sure to check the ingredients list before making a oral hygiene product purchase.
Your tooth enamel is important for the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums, but is also incredibly important to your overall comfort. Pay attention to the strength of your tooth enamel and take protective and preventative measures to stop your tooth enamel from decaying completely.