Enamel is the outermost layer of a tooth that acts as a protective cover. It protects the teeth from daily use like biting, chewing, grinding, and crunching. Although enamel is a tough protector of teeth, it can chip, crack, and erode. Enamel also insulates a person's teeth from painful temperatures or chemicals. So when it erodes, you notice that the teeth react to hot or cold foods, drinks, sweets, and other substances because they penetrate through holes in enamel to reach the nerves inside.
Causes of Enamel Loss
Tooth erosion occurs when acids eat or wash away the enamel on teeth. A number of things can cause enamel loss, including having many soft drinks that contain acids. Oral bacteria survive on sugar, metabolizing it into byproducts like acid that eat away at the enamel. Enamel loss may occur from sour foods and candies as they have lots of acids. Fruit drinks containing acids are also a culprit for tooth erosion. In fact, some acids within fruit drinks can be more erosive compared to battery acid.
Dry mouth and low saliva flow can contribute to enamel loss because they allow bacteria in the mouth that acts on sugars, increasing the pH levels or the acids in the mouth. Conditions like acid reflux disease (GERD) and heartburn bring stomach acids back to the mouth, causing damage to the enamel. Alcohol misuse and binge drinking cause people to vomit often, and since vomit is hard on teeth, it tends to erode them. Physical wear and tear or abrasion, often arising from brushing teeth very hard, biting on hard objects, and improper flossing can result in enamel loss.
Preventing Enamel Loss
If you want to prevent enamel erosion and loss, you should brush, floss, and rinse. Use fluoridated toothpaste and antiseptic mouthwash. Make sure you don't skip dentist visits for checkups and cleanings. Excluding highly acidic drinks and foods from the diet can reduce enamel erosion. Use a straw if you have to drink acidic drinks—snack after meals and not throughout the day to reduce acids in the mouth. Finish a meal with milk or water or cheese to neutralize or wash away acids. Request an appointment with our dentist to get treatment for eroded enamel and learn how to prevent enamel loss.
About Our Paradise Valley Dental Practice • David R. Moyer, DDS Looking for the right dentist for you? Learn more about our top-rated Paradise Valley dentist, David R. Moyer, DDS, today! David R. Moyer, DDS, 10920 N. Tatum Blvd, Suite #103 Phoenix, AZ 85208 + 480.935.6295 + moyerdds.com + 5/29/2023 + Related Terms: Dentist Paradise Valley +