When people see you, your smile is front and center, and we all know it. That's why tooth whitening is a $6.9 billion dollar global industry. If you are going...
Tooth enamel is one of the strongest substances in our bodies, but despite being harder than bone, enamel can become weakened when exposed to things like sugary foods and drinks.
Keep your enamel strong, and help protect your teeth with these tips on how to rebuild weakened enamel.
Why am I experiencing enamel erosion?
Enamel erosion happens when acids wear away the enamel on your teeth. Friction, wear and tear, and stress in any combination can cause erosion of the tooth surface. The top culprits that break down your enamel are:
- Excessive soft drink consumption
- Fruit juices that have high levels of sugar and citric acids
- Dry mouth and low saliva flow
- A diet high in sugar and starches
- Acid reflux disease
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Side effects of certain medications
- Grinding of your teeth, or Bruxism
- Improper flossing
- Brushing too hard
How Restoring Enamel Transforms Your Smile (and Your Health)
While there’s no way to fully “restore” tooth enamel, there are ways you can treat the damaged area to take care of your teeth in other ways and prevent further damage.
Bonding can be used in milder cases of enamel erosion. In this cosmetic procedure, resin that is tinted to match your existing teeth is applied to the tooth with the erosion. Once the resin hardens, it is “bonded” to your tooth and then trimmed and polished to fit into your mouth correctly. The entire process takes an hour or less, and the bonding usually takes just one appointment to achieve desired results for stronger, healthier teeth.
A crown can be applied to a tooth in more serious cases of weakened enamel. This procedure involves capping the tooth with excessive damage with a crown that will protect the damaged areas, restoring function to a damaged tooth. Crowns protect your tooth against future decay and allow you to eat and drink again without experiencing sensitivity and pain.
Benefits of Treating Enamel Erosion
There are a number of negative side effects from tooth erosion that can cause discomfort to patients, with the most common being sensitive and discolored teeth, increased decay, tooth fracturing and shiny spots on teeth. Most patients don’t realize how beneficial it is to have their enamel restored in one quick dental appointment.
Having your erosion corrected will give you the benefits of:
- Reduced Tooth Sensitivity – The most common side effect from teeth erosion is tooth sensitivity. This is caused by the reduction of the tooth’s protective coating and your teeth may be sensitive to eating hot or cold foods, when you brush, or when your gum line is exposed to air.
- A whiter smile – Enamel erosion often results in what appears to be discoloration. In reality, the enamel has worn so thin you are seeing the underlying dentine of your teeth which is naturally yellow.
- Removed sharp edges – Rough edges appear when your enamel wears away, which can make for an uncomfortable surface that your tongue brushes against and can eventually lead to chipped or cracked teeth.
- Return of daily comfort – Regain the functionality of your teeth with strong surfaces that don’t feel brittle.
- Reduced likelihood of further damage and dental problems – Dental bonding or crowns aren’t susceptible to tooth decay because neither substance is natural enamel, creating a barrier layer on your teeth.
Prevent Potential TMJ Problems
Your jaw operates best when your teeth are properly aligned. If your enamel has become severely worn, your upper and lower teeth will no longer fit together properly. Long-term misalignment can lead to more serious concerns, including jaw disorders. Having enamel erosion corrected with dental bonding helps to realign your teeth and reduces the risk of your body over-correcting your bite, causing you to develop TMJ.
How To Prevent Tooth Erosion At Home
Use these tips at home and as part of your daily routine to help prevent tooth erosion in the future and protect your teeth.
- Eliminate sugary drinks
- Use a straw for liquids when possible
- Cut back on frequent snacking
- Rinse your mouth after eating
- Stay hydrated with water
The best defense against tooth erosion is a good offense, and that means being proactive with your oral hygiene routine. Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings every six months to keep your teeth healthy and catch issues while they’re still minor. Ask Dr. Baudean, or her staff at your next checkup about other ways you can protect your natural tooth enamel.