Tooth enamel is essentially a protective covering for the teeth. It is a thin, tough shell, and it is actually the hardest tissue found in the human body. It covers the part of the tooth known as the crown, which is the part you see when you look into your mouth. Enamel is clear, so when your teeth change colour, this is due to the dentin – the layer under the enamel – changing. You need to take good care of your enamel so it lasts as long as possible and your teeth retain the protection they need to stay strong and healthy.
What Is the Function of Enamel?
Enamel protects teeth from the things you do each day, such as biting, grinding, chewing and crunching. It can crack and chip despite being very hard. This layer also helps to insulate your teeth so that chemicals and temperatures do not cause pain. When enamel is damaged, it is damaged forever, and there are no proven remedies to bring lost enamel back. This is because there are no living cells in enamel.
What Causes Enamel Erosion?
Acid can wear away enamel from your teeth, so you need to be mindful of things that are acidic. The following also cause enamel erosion:
1.Excessive consumption of soft drinks
2. Low salivary flow and dry mouth
3.Acid reflux disease
4. Certain medications
5.Certain environmental factors
6. Fruit drinks
Plaque can also play a role in tooth decay, so it is important to brush and floss regularly so that all plaque is removed from the teeth and doesn’t cause damage. If plaque is left to sit on teeth, the enamel gets worn down over time and pitting results. The pits will gradually grow and increase in size. Tooth surface erosion can also be affected by environmental factors. The following are considered to be tooth surface erosion environmental causes:
1.Attrition: This is caused by grinding teeth, such as with the condition known as bruxism. Many people do not know they grind their teeth at night until they start to wake up with jaw pain.
2.Abfraction: This caused by stress fractures in the tooth. These can occur when a tooth is bent or flexed.
3. Abrasion: This happens when the teeth experience wear and tear from things like improper flossing, chewing tobacco, brushing too hard or biting on hard objects.
4.Corrosion: This happens when the tooth surface is exposed to acidic conditions, such as with vomiting, certain medications, GERD, alcohol or foods that are highly acidic.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Enamel Erosion?
1. Sensitivity: Since the enamel protects the teeth, once it starts to wear down, you may notice that your teeth are more sensitive to things like temperature and sweets. In the later stages of enamel erosion, this sensitivity can become
2.severe and cause considerable pain and discomfort.
3.Cracks and chips: You can look at the edges of the teeth and see that they are becoming more jagged and rough.
4. Cupping: On the surface of the teeth, you may notice indentations.
5. Discoloration: Your teeth will start to appear more yellow as the enamel is further worn down.
Ask your dentist what you can do to protect your enamel and keep your teeth healthy and strong for years to come.