Our teeth are constantly under attack from harmful bacteria that cause cavities and decay. When you eat excess sugar or acidic food or smoke regularly, the enamel layer weakens. It exposes your tooth to damage from bacteria present in your mouth.
What Is Enamel?
Enamel is a thin outer shell that covers the crown of your tooth. This layer is the hardest tissue in the human body. Enamel protects the tooth from the impacts of chewing, grinding, and daily activities. Over the years, this enamel layer can wear out. When the enamel weakens, the tooth is left vulnerable to decay and breakage.
What Causes Enamel Erosion?
There are many different causes of enamel erosion. Some of the most common reasons are:
Plaque is a layer of bacteria that coats the enamel layer and causes decay. It is the reason for multiple dental problems such as cavities, root damage, and periodontitis.
Acidic & Sugary Foods
Foods that are high in sugar are fodder for bacteria in your mouth. Carbonated drinks, candies, and dry fruits coat the tooth with sugar. The bacteria consume the sugar and produce acid. As a result, the pH of your mouth decreases which promotes plaque buildup.
Water and saliva keep the mouth clean, and prevent bacteria formation. Dehydration causes a condition called dry mouth. Due to dehydration, the enamel layer shrinks and weakens. This gives rise to plaque accumulation.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Enamel is damaged due to aging, lifestyle habits, dietary choices, etc. If you practice a poor oral hygiene routine, they can weaken even faster. Drinking alcohol and smoking stain your teeth. Regularly eating hard food can crack or chip a tooth.
Can You Restore The Enamel?
Once the enamel layer is damaged, it cannot be restored.
All products that claim ‘enamel restoration’ are false. You can improve the enamel’s strength by increasing its mineral content. This process is called remineralization.
Remineralization is the process by which minerals, particularly calcium, are introduced into the teeth. These minerals adhere to the enamel of the teeth and are drawn to the weak points. It is effective in cases of dental erosion. Tooth surfaces that are chipped or cracked are getting strengthened by remineralization. Products that are high in calcium phosphate and fluoride are best for the remineralization of teeth.
Treatments For Lost Enamel
The most popular treatments for restoring lost enamel are:
Fillings replace the cavities with composite materials. A dental filling can last twenty years. They are the most effective option for long-term tooth enamel repair.
Veneers are a type of cosmetic dentistry. They are made of porcelain or resin and can last up to 5 to 10 years. Dental veneers improve the appearance of the tooth after damage to the enamel.
A crown is a cap placed on a tooth damaged by a cavity. It can last up to 15 years. Dental crowns mimic the appearance and function of natural teeth effectively.
Dental bonding uses UV light to harden the resin coating on the teeth.
It repairs the shape of teeth that has enamel damage. Dental bondings can last up to 3-5 years.
Maintaining Tooth Enamel
Fluoride-based toothpaste strengthens the enamel layer.
Dentists recommend brushing and flossing twice daily. You can also you mouthwash to clean between your teeth.
Limiting sugar intake reduces the chances of bacteria accumulation which causes plaque.
Avoid acidic foods to balance the pH level of your mouth and reduce plaque buildup.
Visit the dentist after every six months to have your mouth checked for signs of cavities and decay.
The Bottom Line
Strengthening the enamel layer of your tooth is essential to protect your tooth. There is no option to restore this armor after damage. You must take good care of your oral health to dodge this problem.