The human jaw can exert 171 pounds of force, which means your teeth must be strong to withstand the pressure. Thankfully, your enamel is the hardest substance in your body. The hard outer layer you see when you look in the mirror is responsible for protecting the softer inner layers, called the dentin and pulp. Although your enamel is resilient, it isn’t indestructible. Enamel wear is a serious problem that must be addressed because it can’t repair itself on its own. Here are the signs you need to watch out for to safeguard your smile from irreversible damage.
What is Enamel Loss?
Enamel gets its strength from calcium and phosphate, which makes it resistant to eroding substances, like cavity-causing bacteria. Even with a steady source of the minerals, your enamel can be compromised by various factors, such as:
- Regularly consuming sugars and starches.
- Frequently having acidic foods and drinks.
- Poor oral hygiene habits at home.
- Aggressive brushing habits.
- Age-related wear and tear.
- Poor dental habits, like biting your nails.
- Grinding and clenching the teeth.
Unfortunately, once you’ve lost your enamel, it’s gone for good. Although it won’t grow back, your dentist has the solutions you need to protect your teeth from additional complications.
Do I Have Enamel Loss?
Enamel loss is a gradual process, so you may not notice there’s an issue until it’s too late. Thankfully, there are many signs of a problem, such as:
- Tooth discoloration.
- Tooth sensitivity.
- Teeth that easily chip or crack.
- Translucent edges of the teeth.
Although enamel loss may not seem alarming, it’s not an issue you want to ignore. The weaker the barrier becomes, the more likely you’ll experience serious oral health complications, like periodontal disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss.
How is Enamel Loss Treated?
While you can’t reverse enamel loss, there are several solutions to preserve what’s left, such as:
- Brush your teeth at least twice per day for two minutes each session.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Don’t brush aggressively.
- Use high-quality dental floss to clean between your teeth daily.
- Limit your consumption of sugary, starchy, and acidic foods and drinks.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
- Resolve poor dental habits, like chewing on inedible objects.
- Use a nightguard to treat bruxism.
If your enamel is compromised, you may need additional care from your dentist, like a fluoride treatment to remineralize the protective layer of your teeth. If the damage is extensive, you may require dental bonding, crowns, or veneers to save your smile. Your dentist has personalized solutions to ensure your teeth last for a lifetime.
About Dr. Josh Rubisch
Dr. Rubisch knew from a young age he wanted to be a dentist. He pursued his dental degree from the LECOM School of Dental Medicine, which furthered his interest in complex oral health needs, like restorative dentistry. If you’re concerned about enamel loss, contact our office today for an appointment to preserve your natural smile.