The enamel is placed on the outer layer of your teeth and is considered the hardest substance in the body. It acts to protect your teeth from erosion and harmful substances. If you have ever wondered what part of the tooth acts as a protective layer to keep your smile shiny and white, it’s the enamel.
Without proper oral hygiene, your enamel can become weak. Just because it’s the hardest substance in the body, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t need remineralization. Certain properties in food and drink such as calcium and phosphate, in particular, are remineralization properties that the enamel needs to keep your teeth strong and clean.
If you begin to experience the following symptoms, it’s a sign of enamel erosion:
- Increased sensitivity when eating hot and cold foods
- Chips and cracks forming within teeth
- Discolouration from drinks such as coffee and sodas
- Reduction in the shade of your teeth leading to a yellow colour
When you begin to experience these symptoms, you’re likely to notice a change in the shape of your teeth. Your teeth will have rough edges, stains, chips and fractures and may require a check-up and clean or cosmetic treatment to resolve it.
Causes of Enamel Erosion
The main cause of enamel erosion, whether you like it or not, is the food and drink you consume. Maintaining a balanced diet to feed your enamel with the right properties is what protects the smile you display in public every day.
If you eat food and drink that too much acid, in combination with a bad oral routine, your enamel will erode over time and your smile will be comprised.
Eating the following properties can lead to enamel erosion:
- Sugar – Your favourite foods are highly likely to contain traces of sugar. Foods such as ice cream, candy, fruit juices, sweets, sodas, wine and coffee should only be consumed as a treat and in moderation. Sugar is a trigger for harmful bacteria to build in your mouth and this can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss.
- Acid – Acid is another property that can lead to tooth decay. Unfortunately, acid is also contained in healthy fruits, such as citrus, oranges, apples and berries. Consuming these fruits has many benefits, but ensure they’re consumed in moderation to protect your oral health or consider alternative fruits that are sour.
- Excess Vitamin C – If your mouth is exposed to excessive amounts of vitamin C, this is the process of demineralization, where it can lead to wear-and-tear and tooth decay. Ensure that your daily dose of vitamin C does not exceed the recommended daily amount of 65-90mg a day.
Although the food and drink you consume play a vital role in keeping your enamel strong, there are certain medical and oral health conditions that may cause it also. Conditions such as Bruxism. Bruxism is the process of teeth grinding, something that occurs when you sleep at night. You may also experience acid reflux, low saliva production because of diabetes or eating disorders that disrupt the digestive system. To protect your teeth and to promote strong gum health, maintain a strong oral routine by brushing your teeth with fluoride and eat the right food and drink that keeps your enamel strong.
Enamel cannot grow back once it’s compromised. Therefore, keeping it strong as you get older will only ensure that your teeth stay strong and white, so you can smile confidently.
Are you seeking dental advice for your teeth? Contact us at Parkdale Dental today and we’d be happy to help you on your way to strong oral health.