Are your teeth looking discolored? Maybe you’ve noticed how difficult it is to enjoy a bowl of ice cream or even a hot cup of soup? All of these are common symptoms of tooth enamel erosion. Although enamel cannot be replaced, there are things you can do to prevent further deterioration and problems from developing. Read on to find out more about this common dental issue and what your dentist suggests you do right away.
What is Tooth Enamel Erosion?
Your teeth have an outer layer known as the enamel. Although strong and durable, over time, it can begin to weaken and wear as a result of daily use. When tooth enamel erosion occurs, it is usually because of abnormal amounts of acid are wearing away at the surface layer of your teeth. In most cases, if you produce enough saliva each day, the calcium within the saliva will work to neutralize acids and prevent erosion; however, if you enjoy your fruit juices and sports drinks, their high acidic content can overpower the calcium and wreak havoc on your teeth.
What Symptoms Should You Look For?
When attempting to determine if you are suffering from tooth enamel erosion, there are certain symptoms you should look for, such as:
- Increased Pain: When the enamel of your teeth begins to wear, you will find it more difficult to eat or drink anything that is hot or cold in temperature.
- Discoloration: As the enamel on your teeth slowly wears away, the dentin (the layer underneath the enamel) will become exposed, causing your teeth to appear yellow.
- Transparency: The biting edges of your front teeth can become more transparent if the enamel is wearing.
- Cracks: Small cracks can develop along the chewing surfaces of your teeth when the enamel is eroding.
How Can You Prevent Further Erosion From Occurring?
Once tooth enamel is lost, it cannot be regained, but you will find that there are ways you can prevent additional enamel from eroding. Here’s how:
- Limit or avoid all fruit juices and acidic foods from your diet. If you simply must have a glass of orange juice or carbonated beverage, use a straw to keep as much of the liquid from coming into contact with your teeth.
- Drink more water to encourage your salivary glands to work at an optimal level.
- Chew sugar-free gum to also help increase your saliva production.
- Use fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth from tooth decay and strengthen remaining tooth enamel.
Don’t let your constant cravings result in the erosion of your teeth. While your dentist will encourage that you make changes at home to stop the continued deterioration of your enamel, you can discuss various cosmetic dentistry solutions to give you a more beautiful smile.
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Nawrocki and the team at Jacksonville Dental Specialists want to help you achieve your smile goals, so when tooth enamel erosion becomes evident, we can provide tips to help salvage your remaining enamel and work to prevent further problems from developing. By maintaining regular dental checkups and cleanings and practicing good oral hygiene habits at home, you can work to regain your oral health. To learn more, contact us at (904) 683-4781.