The Tooth Protector
Your teeth are constantly being attacked by acid, sugar, and other harmful bacteria that threaten their health. They are armed, however, with a natural shield that protects your pearly whites from chemical and physical damage: the enamel.
The enamel is the outer layer of your teeth, a very tough tissue that is, in fact, the hardest tissue in the human body, even stronger than bone. This shield is the first line of defense for your teeth; therefore, it’s prone to wear and damage. When that happens, your teeth face enamel erosion.
Causes Of Enamel Loss
The enamel can deteriorate due to poor oral health or foods that you eat. Saliva is the natural defense system that neutralizes acid in your mouth. If you consume a lot of acidic foods or drinks, that system can’t keep up and the acid does damage to your teeth over time.
Sugary, starchy, and acidic foods or drinks are the worst enemies of your enamel, but there are other causes that also affect the integrity of it, for example:
- Teeth grinding
- Chronic acid reflux or GERD
- Side effects or regular use of certain medications
- Eating disorders like bulimia, which constantly exposes teeth to stomach acid
- Xerostomia or low salivary flow — a symptom of diabetes
What Happens If You Lose Your Enamel?
The symptoms of tooth enamel erosion may vary, but the early stages often show sensitivity to textures, taste, and temperature, discoloration, and teeth that are easily cracked or chipped.
If not treated on time, the enamel erosion can bring complications such as:
- Yellow, stained teeth
- Severe tooth decay
- Clear or slightly translucent teeth
- Fractured teeth
Without the enamel, your teeth are vulnerable and exposed and can begin to decay. This leads to all kinds of trouble like infections, gum disease, and tooth loss. Tooth enamel can’t be replaced, but it can be reinforced.
If you have questions or concerns about your dental health, please call our Lewisville office, and we will be happy to help.