When it comes to teeth health, taking care of enamel is a big deal. Enamel is super important for your oral health because it protects the inner, more fragile parts of the teeth - the dentin and the pulp. Did you know that enamel is the strongest part of the body and is even stronger than your bones? Yes, that’s right! However, sometimes even the strongest part can get damaged, and when the enamel is damaged, you are at a risk of developing dental caries or cavities, teeth sensitivity, infection, and more. So, let us understand what causes enamel erosion.
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Causes of enamel erosion
Here are some common causes of tooth enamel erosion:
Foods: The enamel is eroded when you consume too much sugary, starchy, or acidic foods such as citrus fruits, syrups, ice cream, white bread, sodas, etc. and then neglect rinsing your mouth well or taking care of the teeth.
Poor dental hygiene: Poor dental hygiene is the biggest contributor to enamel and tooth erosion. Inadequate brushing or flossing can lead to the enamel getting damaged easily.
Other causes: If you have teeth with enamel loss, some other reasons for it can include teeth grinding, chronic acid reflux or GERD, low saliva production caused by diabetes, certain medications, and eating disorders such as bulimia, and so on.
Symptoms of enamel erosion
Now that you’re aware of the causes, here are some enamel erosion symptoms you should look out for, to identify early on that your enamel might be getting damaged:
Toothache: The most common symptom you will experience is tooth pain. Your teeth might become sensitive, especially when consuming hot or cold food and beverages.
Yellow teeth: Because of the erosion of enamel, your teeth may become discoloured and appear yellow because of the exposed dentin layer.
Cracks and dents: Another symptom of eroding enamel is that your teeth may start to develop dents and cups along the chewing surface.
Transparency: You might notice the front teeth starting to look transparent near the edges from where you bite. This is also a symptom of enamel erosion.
Treatment of enamel erosion
If the enamel is eroding, then it is important to not neglect it! Here is what you can do to treat enamel erosion in teeth:
Visit the dentist: You should visit your dentist for tooth erosion treatment if it has taken a more serious toll on your teeth and led to discolouration, especially on the front teeth. In such cases your dentist may recommend tooth bonding. If it is severe, then the dentist might add a crown or veneer to the damaged teeth for enamel erosion repair to prevent further damage and decay.
Keep acidic foods to a minimum: Foods that are acidic in nature can easily damage the enamel. If you are experiencing enamel erosion, then it’s a good idea to avoid highly acidic fruits such as lemons, grapes, apples, grapefruit, and so on. Other moderately acidic foods include pickles, honey, yoghurt, cheese, pineapple, oranges, and more.
Take precaution with enamel eroding beverages: Drink beverages such as fruit juices, and carbonated water with a straw and don’t let it touch your teeth. For those on a diet and consuming Apple Cider Vinegar in the mornings, try to gulp it down without letting it touch the teeth as it can cause the enamel to wear off easily.
Chew sugar-free gum: One good idea to tackle enamel erosion is to chew dental-approved, sugar-free variety of gums to promote saliva production. Saliva is the mouth’s natural cleansing mechanism as it washes away the bacteria in the mouth and prevents oral diseases and conditions. Dry mouth, on the other hand, can cause build-up of mouth bacteria and lead to plaque and a host of dental problems including enamel erosion. So, chew a piece of gum but not the sugar-loaded ones as they can do more dental harm than good.
Follow a proper dental care routine: You can’t give this a miss. If you want to combat enamel erosion then it is super important to have a good oral care routine that includes brushing twice a day, flossing with waxed floss strips such as Oral-B Essential Waxed Floss, and rinsing with a medically-approved, antibacterial mouthwash.
Enamel erosion can be prevented if one takes their oral care seriously. Maintain a good dental hygiene routine and visit your dental expert at least once every six months. It is also crucial to use advanced dental products such as Oral-B electric toothbrush that is dental-approved and can prevent damage and decay by taking efficient care of your teeth.
Read more about how to brush your teeth and other oral care tips.