Did you know that tooth enamel is the strongest material in your body, even stronger than your bones? Unfortunately, it isn’t indestructible. Every day, your teeth are exposed to destructive acids, dangerous bacteria, and extra pressure that can wear away this protective substance. While this typically happens slowly and you may not notice it right away, enamel loss can lead to larger, more complicated, and more painful issues later on. Read on as your Lansdale dentist explains everything you need to know about enamel wear and what you can do to protect your smile.
What Causes Enamel Wear?
There are several factors in your everyday life that may be taking a toll on your enamel, including:
- Acidic drinks: The acids contained in wine, soda, sports drinks, coffee, and fruit juice are all notorious for burning through enamel.
- Sugary diet: When the plaque in your mouth feeds on the sugar in your foods, it creates cavity-causing acids that eat away at enamel.
- Teeth grinding: The extra pressure on your teeth caused by bruxism, or grinding your teeth in your sleep, quickly wears down enamel.
- Bad chewing habits: Chewing on hard objects like pen caps, ice, and your fingernails wears away at your enamel and weakens your teeth.
Why Is Enamel Wear a Big Deal?
If your dentist tells you that some of your enamel is wearing down, there’s no need to panic. However, enamel loss shouldn’t be ignored! While weakened enamel may develop gradually and only cause annoying symptoms initially, it can easily lead to serious, more complicated, and more painful issues. Without an adequate shell of enamel protecting them, the sensitive layers of your teeth are more prone to damage, decay, and infection.
How Can I Tell If I Have Worn-Down Enamel?
There are several tell-tale signs that your enamel is wearing down, like:
- Your teeth are discolored.
- You experience tooth sensitivity regularly.
- Your teeth chip or crack very easily.
What Can I Do About Worn-Down Enamel?
While enamel damage is permanent, there are a few ways you can strengthen and protect your teeth. A process called remineralization can replace lost minerals in the enamel to restore its strength. Foods or beverages high in calcium are a delicious and natural way to encourage remineralization in your smile. Additionally, fluoridated toothpastes and mouthwashes are an excellent way to help your pearly whites resist decay and become more fortified. Your dentist can recommend the lifestyle changes, dental products, or treatments that will most effectively help you treat your enamel loss.
If your teeth are sensitive, chipped, or discolored, it’s time to talk to your dentist about worn-down enamel. They can help you regain your happy, healthy, and strong smile!
About the Practice
At Brookwood Dental Associates, we strive to help the families of Lansdale, PA and the surrounding communities prevent oral health issues like worn enamel before they have a chance to develop. However, should any problems arise, our highly trained team of dental professionals and in-house specialists can help you overcome whatever stands between you and your ideal smile. We offer services like dental sealants and fluoride treatments to remedy enamel loss and protect our patients’ beautiful smiles. If you’d like to learn more, we can be contacted via our website or at (215) 368-2424.