Tooth enamel is the strongest material in your body and is responsible for protecting your teeth. The semi-clear, hard outer layer of your teeth helps maintain the health of your teeth while keeping you from feeling extreme sensitivities to hot and cold food and drinks.
Various factors can cause your tooth enamel to wear away, leading to several oral health issues. If you don’t take proper precautions, you could be damaging your teeth without even realizing it.
What Causes Tooth Enamel Erosion?
Several factors contribute to the erosion of your tooth enamel. Tooth erosion occurs when acids wear away the enamel on your teeth, which can be caused by:
- Drinking too many soft drinks (Consuming high levels of phosphoric and citric acids)
- Drinking too many fruit drinks (Some are extremely acidic)
- Dry mouth or low saliva production
- A diet high in sugar and starches
- Acid reflux disease (GERD)
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Certain medications
- Environmental factors (Wear and tear, stress, etc.)
Can Tooth Enamel Be Restored?
Once your enamel wears away, there is no way to get it back. Fortunately, there are ways to fix teeth that are suffering the effects of tooth enamel erosion.
At Beaumont Family Dentistry, we regularly see patients who are worried about their teeth because of tooth enamel erosion. With cosmetic and restorative dentistry services like tooth bonding, we can protect the damaged teeth that are worn down, as well as teeth that have been chipped or discolored, which often happens when your enamel wears away.
If a good portion of the outer shell of your tooth is gone, we may decide that a dental crown is the best way to protect the tooth from further damage.
How to Prevent Enamel Erosion
To keep your teeth healthy and prevent further erosion of your enamel, you should see your dentist at least every six months for checkups and cleanings, and be sure to brush and floss daily. You should also try the following:
- Avoid highly acidic foods and drinks such as soft drinks, citrus fruits, and juices. When you do eat or drink acidic foods or drinks, rinse your mouth immediately with clear water to wash away as much acid as possible.
- When drinking acidic drinks, use a straw to push the liquid to the back of your mouth, avoiding your teeth as much as possible.
- Cut back on snacking. Snacking throughout the day puts you at a higher risk for tooth decay. If you do enjoy a snack, rinse and brush your teeth afterward.
- Chew sugar-free gum between meals to boost saliva products. Sugar-free gum with xylitol has been shown to reduce acids that can harm your teeth.
- Drink water throughout the day.
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride to strengthen your teeth.
- Find out if sealants are right for you. Sealants can often help prevent enamel erosion and tooth decay.
Contact Your Lexington Dentist
If you are worried about your teeth, contact Beaumont Family Dentistry today to schedule a checkup and cleaning. During your time with us, we can determine if your teeth have suffered the effects of tooth enamel erosion, and come up with a treatment plan that will protect your teeth from further damage.
Call one of our three Lexington locations today: