General Dental Informtion

Everything you need to know about the enamel

woman smiling beautiful teeth enamel holding apple

The tooth enamel is one of the four main tissues composing the tooth. The tooth enamel is the visible part and it covers the crown. Working as a barrier against the foods and drinks’ acids to protect our teeth. With all its strength and layers, the enamel might be destroyed by what we eat and drink. Perchance, you have heard that somebody’s tooth enamel is damaged or decaying. If you have experienced a similar problem, you are recommended to study this article from Dr. Jamilian’s website. In this article you will be provided with a detailed explanation of tooth enamel, how to avoid its erosion and how to treat it.

What is the Tooth Enamel?

The tooth enamel is the toughest substance in our mouth. Better yet, teeth are strongest in our entire body in general. If you take a look in the mirror, the outer layer of the tooth is called enamel which is composed of certain minerals such as Hydroxyapatite and covers all sides of your teeth. In some rare cases, the tooth enamel is not developed and the underneath dentine is seen as the outer surface of the tooth. 

It is because of the tooth enamel that plaques fail to accumulate over a tooth or the sweet and acidic foods have the least detrimental effect on the tooth. If someone’s tooth enamel has been damaged, they will face dental decay very quickly. On the other hand, their teeth will lose their immunity against hot and cold drinks and foods and will become very vulnerable.

healthy teeth enamel
A healthy tooth enamel

The Most Common Factors of Tooth Enamel Erosion

Various factors and causes would result in tooth enamel erosion, which in turn is followed by serious problems. Knowing the causes of tooth enamel erosion will help prevent tooth enamel damage. The following are among the most common causes of tooth enamel erosion:

Destruction of Tooth Enamel with Chemicals and Acids

When your tooth enamel is encountered with chemicals and acids, it erodes quickly. For example, people who routinely use citrus fruits like sour oranges, sour lemons, vinegar and fruit leather in their diet, are threatened by the damage and erosion of the tooth enamel. On the other hand, if there is continuous contact between the tooth and alkaline substances, then the corrosion of the tooth enamel would be expected.

citrus such as orange lemon that can cause damage your teeth enamel

Impact of Thermal Alterations on the Tooth Enamel

Drinking and eating very hot or very cold foodstuffs in a non-stop way would result in tooth enamel damage and erosion. People who live in places with a very cold climate also have more susceptible teeth. Using masks on cold days will protect your tooth enamel.

cracked tooth enamel
Enamel of a cracked tooth

Failure to Protect Teeth and Tooth Enamel Erosion

In most cases, people who suffer from tooth enamel erosion have failed to care about and protect their teeth properly. Such people, for example, never use tooth floss or regular brushing; so, it is expected that they lose their tooth enamel and experience severe dental decay.

teeth enamels with cavities in them
Holes across teeth

Tooth Enamel Damage Due to Concussions

Another cause of tooth enamel erosion is dental concussions. For instance, if someone is hit with a ball or toy very harshly, their tooth enamel will be concussed and damaged subsequently.

Ways to Prevent Tooth Enamel Erosion

Certainly, you would want to know how you can prevent the erosion of your tooth enamel. The following useful guides and instructions will help you to have a well-built and healthy tooth enamel:

  • Using toothpastes with fluoride: It is interesting to know that fluoride is able to keep clean and protect your tooth enamel very properly. However, the excessive use of such toothpaste also is not recommended. To choose a proper toothpaste, it is better to talk to your dentist.
  • Proper use of brushes and dental floss: Some people have eroded tooth enamel and decayed teeth while they brush their teeth two to three times a day. It is vital to know the correct way of brushing and to not forget dental flossing. As it plays a vital role in protecting your tooth enamel health against possible erosion and damage.
  • Refining your food diet: as it was mentioned already, the foods we consume have an important impact on our teeth’ enamel status and health. In the same direction, it is recommended to control acidic foods like citrus fruits and always keep a balance among what you eat. For instance, milk and dairy will strengthen your tooth enamel.
  • Using proper minerals: To keep your teeth enamel healthy, your body needs certain minerals; for instance, using calcium and vitamin D will help to keep your tooth enamel healthy and to prevent its erosion considerably.
  • Treating gastrointestinal problems and bruxism: Other causes of severe tooth enamel erosion are bruxism and gastrointestinal problems. People who suffer from bruxism usually have an eroded tooth enamel, as well. People suffering from gastric problems including Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) usually damage their tooth enamel through regurgitating stomach acid into their mouth. So, if you are suffering from such disorders and problems, you can prevent tooth enamel erosion through controlling and treating the former.
  • Drinking sufficient water and getting rid of carbonated drinks: carbonated drinks are one of the main causes of tooth enamel erosion, so it is recommended to remove these kinds of drinks from your daily diet and replace them with water.
  • Using mouthwash: After talking with your dentist, you can use mouthwash with fluoride to protect and take care of your tooth enamel erosion.

Treatment of Tooth Enamel Erosion

As it was mentioned already in this article, the tooth enamel does not regrow and it is not treated automatically. If you follow the above mentioned tips and instructions properly, your tooth enamel will be secured against serious damage. Please visit a specialist dentist upon noting any symptoms of enamel erosion. In most cases, the eroded tooth enamel can be treated through restoration, root canal therapy and other dentistry methods and techniques. A specialist dentist can prescribe a proper method to treat your tooth enamel by completing an exact and detailed examination of your teeth.

Enamel FAQ

What is the role of tooth enamel in our mouth?

The most important role and function of tooth enamel is to protect teeth against plaques, gum diseases, as well as against erosion, breakage, etc. On the other hand, tooth enamel will enhance your teeth strength and resistance against chemicals and serious dental damages and disorders.

How can we find that our tooth enamel has been removed?

More decayed and eroded teeth, tooth thinning, noting white and shiny stains over teeth, cracked teeth, broken teeth and any changed colour tooth are among symptoms of eroded tooth enamel. Please visit a specialist dentist as soon as you note one of the above mentioned symptoms in your mouth or teeth.

What can we eat to strengthen our tooth enamel?

Certain foods including salmon fish, yoghourt, milk, mushrooms, and foods with calcium and vitamin D are amongst foods that can be useful for strengthening your tooth enamel (This is because they are full of minerals). Coconut oil is recommended to strengthen and enhance tooth enamel resistance and strength.

What are the causes of tooth enamel erosion?

The most important cause is the unhealthy habits of people. For instance, people who often eat sweet, acidic food, and carbonated drinks are more susceptible to dental damage and tooth enamel erosion.

Is it possible for the tooth enamel to regrow?

While the tooth enamel is very tough and resistant, if it is damaged or destroyed, it will not regrow., The tooth enamel has no live cells and if it is damaged either physically or chemically, it will fail to regrow and you need to restore it only through professional dentistry services.

Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist

About Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist

Dr. Jamilian, an orthodontist, has a specialized fellowship in orthodontic surgery and maxillofacial abnormalities and is a professor in the orthodontics department of the Dentistry School of the Islamic Azad University. He is member of Iranian and European Board of Orthodontics (EBO) and is a member of the Iranian, American and European Orthodontists Association.

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