Take Care of Your Oral Health, One Tooth at a Time
What is Tooth Enamel?
As you may know, your teeth are a part of your bones. To keep them strong, the body produces enamel to coat the crown or the visible part of the teeth. It is the hardest tissue in the whole human body – that’s really strong! Unfortunately, exposure to harsh chemicals, harmful bacteria, or excessive plaque can lead to damaged or loss of enamel.
You can also stain the enamel with things like cigarettes, coffee, red wine, and some fruit juices. The tissue itself is transparent – the dentin within the tooth is what gives it its color – which makes it susceptible to being temporarily or even permanently discolored.
Enamel is important because it helps to protect your teeth from everyday wear sustained from biting, chewing, grinding, and crunching. It also helps to protect you from temperature and chemicals that may cause sharp pain. This explains why patients who are experiencing some form of tooth decay are sensitive to ice-cold liquids or extremely hot foods. In addition to tooth decay, other oral conditions and exposure to certain things can cause the enamel to wear away. Eventually, this can cause the teeth to chip, crack, or fall out.
How to Identify Enamel Erosion
When you start to wear down the enamel on your teeth, your teeth can be negatively affected. Plus, once it’s gone, it’s lost forever. Instead, dentists work hard to teach their patients the importance of strengthening their tooth enamel by observing proper oral health care.
So how can you tell if you have sustained some wear to your enamel? Thankfully, the symptoms are fairly easy to recognize. We’ve already mentioned sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. You may also notice staining or discoloration, discomfort when brushing or chewing, or decay in the form of chips, cracks, or indentations.
The most common factor that dentists warn against when it comes to dental enamel care and prevention is acid erosion. Acids in a number of foods, liquids, and chemicals can break down the tissue that makes up the enamel. However, there are a number of reasons why patients experience tooth attrition, such as:
- Acid reflux disease and gastrointestinal problems
- Medications such as aspirin and antihistamines
- Genetic conditions
- Dry mouth or low saliva
- Environmental or lifestyle factors
- Diets high in sugar or starches
Caring For Your Enamel and Your Overall Health
Believe it or not, your own body has the power to help protect your teeth and bones from erosion and damage. When you properly care for your teeth and gums, regularly visit your dentist, and pay attention to any changes in your mouth, you can produce calcium-rich saliva that coats the teeth to provide protection from harmful substances. Saliva is incredible in the way that it works to dilute erosive agents, wash away harmful bacteria, and even give a boost to healthy elements that help to fight disease.
Now, while you cannot regain lost enamel, there are some ways that you can help to repair weakened enamel or strengthen teeth that have lost their enamel. Dr. Beaufils recommends his patients always use a fluoride toothpaste. If you have a diet high in acidic foods, using enamel-strengthening toothpaste can help work as a preventative method. You can also employ other pre-emptive tactics, such as drinking sugary beverages with a straw or even staying away from harmful snacks.
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There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your teeth. If you suffer from bruxism, talk to your dentist about a mouth guard to help protect your teeth. At Beaufils Dental, we focus on complete health dentistry, so we work to identify health issues that could be contributing to oral complications. Patients who have an influx of acid in their mouth may find, with Dr. Beaufils help, that the culprit is something internal, such as acid reflux or gastritis. In this case, they can work with their general practitioner to help control it.
Additionally, some medications you take can be affecting the production of acid and harmful bacteria in your mouth. Dr. Beaufils can help you to identify the source of your acid erosion issue and will advise you to talk to your doctor. If you can’t alter or change your prescription or dosage, a calcium tablet may be recommended to help your body counteract any potential damage.
Take Care of All Aspects of Your Oral and General Health
If you are suffering from signs of tooth sensitivity or any of possible symptoms of enamel erosion, Dr. Beaufils offers full-scale restorative procedures as part of his Complete Health Dentistry services. Contact our Cooper City office today at 954-252-1390 to schedule a consultation. We offer dedicated dental services to every member of your family, with a range of oral concerns or conditions.