The structure of enamel and how it protects your teeth
Tooth enamel may be challenging, but it's also pretty delicate! It's packed with proteins, minerals and even salts that make up its structure and ensure it stands up to daily wear and tear. All these elements are important for the functioning of this layer, which acts as a protective shield for our teeth, keeping them from decay and cavities. Although it covers our teeth densely and with remarkable uniformity, tooth enamel is considered a kind of tissue because its well-connected composition is so finely balanced. It is to this tough yet delicate substance that we owe our "pearly whites"!
Tooth enamel erosion
Acids cause tooth erosion by wearing down the enamel on teeth. Low saliva production or a dry mouth can both contribute to enamel degradation (xerostomia). Saliva prevents tooth decay by clearing out the bacteria and food particles in your mouth. Moreover, it reduces acids to a manageable level. Heartburn or acid reflux disease (GERD) can also lead to tooth erosion. They increase stomach acid and can thus attack the enamel in the mouth.
Foods that lead to enamel deterioration
We all know that a healthy diet is important for strong teeth and gums, but did you know that there are certain foods that can attack your tooth enamel? Foods such as citrus fruits, fruit juices, excessively sugary foods and snacks or soft drinks are known to break down tooth enamel. Acidic products can attack your enamel, leading to tooth decay and tooth sensitivity in the future. If you do indulge in these types of foods and drinks, make sure you rinse with water afterwards or drink plain water while eating to reduce the acidity in your mouth. By taking a few simple steps such as reducing sugar and coffee, and avoiding sweets, soda, wine and other acidic foods, you can keep your enamel healthy!
How to tell if your enamel is weak
The best way to tell if your enamel is weakened is to pay attention to your teeth and the signals they give you. The first sign of weakened enamel is usually sensitivity - for example when you eat hot or cold foods or drink something cold. If your teeth feel very sensitive, this could be an indication that your enamel is weakened. One of the main reasons for tooth sensitivity and, subsequently, dental damage, is enamel erosion. Your gums will be more vulnerable to gum disease if this happens.
Another way to tell is by the discolouration of your teeth: if your teeth are discoloured, your enamel may be damaged. If you can see the individual grooves on your teeth, it probably means that too much of the surface has been worn away. If any of these points apply, you can come to our Studio for an Oral Health Checkup!