Understanding Tooth Enamel Loss
Dr. Nicholas Polito and the rest of the team at Dental Health and Beauty meet thousands of people every year who are concerned about the damaging effects of tooth enamel loss. We’re proud to provide high quality tooth enamel care and protection in the greater Libertyville, IL area and encourage people to educate themselves about tooth anatomy in order to improve their oral health.
Understanding Your Tooth Enamel—And What Can Make it Wear Down Over Time
Tooth enamel is a thin protective layer covering your teeth. It’s main job is to protect your teeth from chemicals and temperatures, as well as during the normal day-to-day actions of teeth themselves (e.g., biting, grinding, and chewing).
The main thing that causes tooth enamel to wear down and degrade over time is excessive exposure to acids, which can happen due to a variety of reasons, including:
- Diet high in sugar and starches
- Acid reflux disease (GERD) and other digestive problems
- Chronic dry mouth or low saliva production
- Excessive or chronic use of certain medications
- Plaque build up on your teeth
- Environmental factors (e.g., grinding teeth in your sleep, stress, etc.)
- Certain health conditions, including bulimia (in which a person frequently purges and vomits their food)
Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Enamel Loss
Tooth enamel itself is actually translucent—the white part of the tooth is actually from the dentin directly underneath the enamel. If enamel begins to wear away, this dentin can become stained, leading to brown or yellow discoloration.
Additional signs and symptoms of tooth enamel loss include:
- Chips, cracks, and indentations in the teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Increased risk of cavities and tooth decay
How our Libertyville Dentist Can Manage and Prevent Tooth Enamel Loss
Unlike other tissues in the body, enamel has no living cells inside, meaning that when it becomes damaged or chipped it can’t be healed naturally by your body. For this reason, enamel protection is essential for maintaining a bright healthy smile.
We advise our patients to follow the following basic oral health guidelines for healthier enamel and teeth:
- Brush, floss, and use mouthwash daily.
- Avoid highly acidic foods, refined sugars, soft drinks, and fruit drinks.
- Drink plenty of water and use sugar-free gum between meals to boost saliva production.
We also provide services such as sealants, bonding, or veneers/crowns which can further protect your teeth from enamel erosion and decay and improve cosmetic appearance.
Worried About Tooth Enamel Loss?
Your oral health makes an incredible impact on your overall health—not to mention confidence! If you have concerns about tooth enamel loss and would like to learn about how our Libertyville dentistry team can help, contact Dental Health and Beauty today at (847) 367-1133.
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