How Does Enamel Wear Down?

Did you know that the thin outer covering of your teeth, the enamel, is the hardest tissue in your body? Covering the crown of each tooth, the part you see, the enamel protects and insulates. Unfortunately, this protective coating can wear down and cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Since enamel is not made of living cells, once it is chipped, cracked, or worn away, it does not grow back.

Causes of Enamel Erosion

    Abfraction

  • Stress fractures within the tooth that are caused by bending or flexing of the tooth.
  • Abrasion

  • Physically wearing down the tooth surface. Actions that can cause this are chewing tobacco, biting hard objects, flossing improperly, and brushing too hard.
  • Attrition

  • Friction of the teeth caused by grinding or clenching.
  • Corrosion

  • A chemical occurrence caused when acidic matter comes in contact with the tooth’s surface. Certain medications, such as vitamin C, aspirin, and antihistamines can cause corrosion. Drinks high in acid, such as soft drinks and fruit drinks can corrode the enamel, as can diets containing highly acidic foods and foods that are high in starches and sugar. Dry mouth and gastrointestinal problems, including acid reflux, have a tendency to cause corrosion, too.

Signs of Enamel Erosion

    Cracks and chips

  • As enamel erodes, the edges of the teeth become jagged and rough.
  • Cupping

  • Indentations appear on the tooth’s surface.
  • Discoloration

  • Teeth appear more yellow as enamel erodes.
  • Sensitivity

  • Extreme temperatures and certain foods cause painful tooth sensitivity.

Treatment of Enamel Loss

The treatment for the loss of tooth enamel will depend on the problem. Options include tooth bonding to keep the tooth protected and increase its appearance, veneer, or a crown.

Prevent Enamel Loss

Regular dental appointments can help you prevent enamel loss, as can proper daily oral hygiene. 

Are you experiencing signs of enamel erosion? Or do you want to do all you can to prevent it? Contact us to make your appointment today! 

Leave a Reply