Did you know that your enamel, or the outer layer of your teeth, is the hardest substance in your entire body? Unfortunately, the reason it’s like this is because it’s not made of living cells, meaning it can’t regenerate. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Because enamel protects the sensitive inner portion of your teeth from decay, it’s imperative that you keep it for as long as possible. A dentist in Brady is here with some more information.
What Causes Enamel Erosion?
Your enamel can be worn away for many reasons, including:
Soda is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to enamel erosion. Even if you’re drinking sugar-free soda, it’s still one of the most acidic beverages out there. All that acid can wear away the outer layer of your teeth over time. Additionally, other beverages like sweet tea and sports drinks are acidic and loaded with sugar that promotes tooth decay, which also destroys your enamel.
Brushing Too Soon
Right after you eat or drink something acidic, your teeth temporarily become more delicate. The pressure from your toothbrush might end up doing more harm than good by wearing them down further while they’re in this state. It’s best to wait at least half an hour to brush your teeth after consuming anything acidic. This gives your saliva time to neutralize the acids.
Certain medications, such as those used to treat depression, can cause dry mouth, a condition where your mouth doesn’t produce nearly enough saliva. This is detrimental because saliva helps balance out the acids in your mouth and rinse out excess food particles and bacteria. Other conditions, such as acid reflux or bulimia, can erode the enamel due to frequent contact with harsh stomach acid.
How Can You Prevent Enamel Erosion?
If your teeth are discolored or sensitive to heat and cold, it’s time to see your dentist since you might have eroded enamel. While nothing will replace the lost enamel, there are a few treatment options.
For example, your dentist may prescribe extra-strength fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash to preserve what enamel you have left. If you are interested in concealing your discolored teeth, veneers or crowns can give the appearance of full, healthy enamel. Fillings may also help recreate lost enamel near the gumline.
Enamel erosion can be caused by a variety of factors, but don’t worry. There are plenty of treatments available from your dentist in Brady.
About the Author
Dr. Greg Ritchie has been practicing dentistry for nearly two decades, ever since graduating from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He has completed post-doctorate training at the world-renowned Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies and is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. If you think you might be experiencing enamel erosion, you can contact Dr. Ritchie for treatment options at (830) 693-8833.