Tooth enamel forms the outer, protective layer of your teeth. Although it is the hardest part of a tooth, enamel can be eroded, leading to cavities, sensitivity and tooth decay.
Beneath the enamel is the dentin layer, and a sign of tooth enamel is when the yellow dentin becomes exposed. There are four primary contributing factors which cause the erosion of tooth enamel.
Inadequate Oral Health Routine
The best way to ensure tooth enamel does not start to erode is to maintain a good oral health routine. This includes twice daily bushing of teeth, daily flossing and regular appointments with a dentist. Your dentist can spot any issues which could impact on the tooth enamel early and treat them before they become more serious and harder to manage.
When you don’t properly clean your teeth, bacteria and plaque builds up which can erode the tooth enamel. Plaque buildup that is hard to reach with a toothbrush can be cleaned by a dentist at a regular check-up.
Aggressive brushing using a stiff-bristled toothbrush is another main cause of tooth enamel erosion. It can also damage the gums. Look to use a soft bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth. You do not need to brush too hard to remove bacteria and plaque.
A soft-bristled tooth brush could be either a manual or an electric toothbrush. It is also recommended that you should wait for at least 60 minutes after you have eaten or drunk anything other than water before brushing.
A diet high in sugar will see bacteria produce more acid which attacks the tooth enamel. Food items including cakes, biscuits, flavored milks, sodas and candy are examples of products which are high in sugar. Eliminating or reducing foods that are high in sugar from your diet can help reduce your risk of tooth enamel erosion.
People who experience acid reflux can have traces of stomach acid coming up in to their mouth when they digest food. An acidic environment may then form in the mouth which can wear away the tooth enamel over time. The risk of erosion is reduced by managing your acid reflux.
Tooth enamel is vital in protecting the inner tooth, but once it wears away it will not return. Your dentist can help reduce your risk of tooth enamel erosion and provide further tips to help protect your teeth, such as drinking more water and eating sugarless gum.