When you think of your oral health, you likely believe that as long as you brush your teeth regularly, you will not be vulnerable to dental issues such as gum disease, tooth decay and so on. And while tooth brushing is critical in mitigating the build-up of plaque and tartar that would result in decay, you should know this is not the only way to protect your oral health. One condition that is not usually talked about is enamel erosion. Also referred to as tooth erosion and acid erosion, this condition refers to the progressive degradation of the outermost layer of your teeth, leaving the highly sensitive inner layers exposed to harm. Read on to learn more about enamel erosion so that you can determine if you need to see a dentist about this condition.
What role does the enamel play?
A misassumption some individuals have regarding their enamel is that it is only functional in enhancing the visual appeal of their teeth. And while healthy enamel does contribute to a brilliant smile, this is not the only role that it plays. Enamel is a tough material that is tasked with the primary job of protecting the inner core of your teeth from chemical reactions, physical impact and thermal changes. And although enamel is extremely strong, it is not invulnerable to damage. When exposed to highly acidic conditions, the enamel will start to disintegrate, which increases your risk of developing cavities and bacterial infections. If this damage is not addressed in good time, it could lead to tooth loss.
What puts you at risk of developing enamel erosion?
The leading reason why you could develop tooth erosion is due to ingesting highly acidic substances. Routinely drinking citrus-based juices is a common cause of enamel erosion, notwithstanding how beneficial they are to one's health. Another common culprit is red wine, as this beverage not only contains high amounts of acid but it is rich in tannins too that stain your teeth in the process. It is also worth noting that individuals that are susceptible to acid reflux are also at risk of this problem, as the continual exposure to bile will eat away at the enamel.
When should you see a dentist for enamel erosion?
It is vital that you know the symptoms of the onset of tooth erosion so that you can seek treatment from a dentist as soon as possible. Sensitivity is one of the common signs of underlying acid erosion since your teeth are steadily losing their protective layer. The second symptom to be wary of is unexplained yellowing of your teeth. The more enamel lost, the more of the dentin is exposed, which is yellowish. Some patients may even find that they are more prone to tooth decay, chips on their teeth and so on.
For more information, talk to a dentist.
There are more than two ways to straighten a smile, and in this blog, I plan to discuss them all. I plan to look at the differences between braces and retainers and explain why sometimes you may need them both. I look at the differences in cost, time commitment and efficacy. Personally, I have had a bit of experience with this subject – I had braces as a young teen, and I had a permanent retainer. In this blog, I discuss what I have learned, and I present all kinds of new information on the topic. Whether you are trying to make decisions for yourself or your child. I hope you find this information useful.