Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, but enamel erosion is still something about which you should be concerned. Enamel is responsible for protecting the inner layers of your teeth; in a way, enamel can be considered their first line of defence.
Unfortunately, enamel can be worn down by the acids and sugars found in the foods and drinks that you consume, with sugary sodas being one of the biggest culprits. The reason that loss is so serious is that enamel is a mineral; it is not made of living cells, so any enamel that is worn or chipped away cannot be grown back.
The best way to prevent erosion is by cutting down on sugary and acidic beverages and following a strict oral-health routine, but you should be prepared to spot the signs of trouble so you can visit your dentist as soon as possible.
You're at Risk
Excessive enamel erosion is entirely preventable, so the first sign that it is taking place will be found from your daily habits. If you drink lots of sugary drinks, erosion is certainly more likely to be taking place, but that is far from the only risk factor. If you suffer from bruxism (grinding of the teeth), then you will be wearing down the enamel found across chewing surfaces. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) can also cause erosion, since stomach acid eats away at enamel; for the same reason, those who induce vomiting to prevent weight gain are also at risk.
You're Experiencing Changes to the Teeth's Appearance
One of the earliest signs that you're losing tooth enamel can also be one of the most concerning. As the enamel is worn away, the next layer of your teeth will begin to show through. This layer is made of dentin, which has a slightly darker appearance, so you're likely to notice your teeth taking on a darker hue as more acid is lost. This is usually most noticeable around the tips of each tooth; it is here that enamel is thinnest. However, the change may be more noticeable across the chewing surfaces if you suffer from bruxism.
You're Experiencing Sensitivity
Sensitivity can be caused by many things, but enamel erosion is certainly a common factor. As the surface enamel is worn away, the dentin layer becomes progressively more exposed to the surrounding oral environment. Dentin is more sensitive, so you're likely to find yourself suffering from discomfort when consuming hot or cold food and drink. You may also begin to experience sensitivity when you drink acidic beverages.
Talk to a dentist for more personalized advice about what to do moving forward.
You may have heard that cavities and oral decay are linked to things like heart disease, and, in fact, your oral health affects your entire body. Hi! My name is Brenda, and I like to look at things holistically. Because of that, I created this blog. I plan for its posts to look at the link between dental issues and other health issues. I hope that the people who visit this blog learn a few tips about oral care as well as gaining a deeper understanding of why it's so important. Healthy smiles indicate a healthy body, and I hope this blog helps you achieve both!