Enаmеl Erosion

What is Enamel Erosion?

Has your Port Moody dentist ever mentioned enamel erosion before? If so, it’s worth listening to. Enamel is comprised of hard, calcified tissue that covers the crown of your teeth. It shields your teeth against food and beverages and protects against cavities. Enamel is white, and when it wears away, it reveals the underlying dentin, which is yellow. Unfortunately, this is something teeth whitening can’t fix.

How Enamels Wears Away

Dental enamel provides a sturdy shield for your teeth, but it has a weakness, which is its pH. It has an estimated pH of 5.5 and is made of carbonated calcium hydroxyapatite. Your saliva serves to neutralize acids in your mouth and maintain balance while replacing phosphate and calcium to keep the enamel strong. However, when saliva can’t keep up with the acids, enamel erosion can transpire.

Although enamel is incredibly strong, it isn’t indestructible, and once it wears away, it can’t regenerate or heal itself. When the protective covering wears away, the nerves in the center of your teeth become exposed, increasing your sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. Eventually, this can lead to tooth loss if it’s left untreated. With that said, some enamel erosion is purely a natural part of aging due to everyday wear from eating, chewing, and drinking.

Enamel Erosion and Your Diet

Typically, enamel erosion is caused by your diet. If you eat a healthy and balanced diet, then there shouldn’t be very much damage. However, if you’re chugging pop regularly, then you’re going to damage your enamel extremely fast. Some of the biggest culprits include pop, sports drinks, and sweet tea.

How Brushing Can Harm Enamel

You might think grabbing your toothbrush every time you consume something acidic is a wise idea, but you may be doing more harm than good. It is best to delay your oral hygiene routine for 30 minutes to an hour after eating or drinking to prevent further erosion. Why? As soon as your teeth are exposed to acid from food and beverages, the enamel becomes more delicate. The saliva in your mouth will work quickly to wash away acids, remineralize your teeth and fortify enamel.

Treatment Options for Enamel Erosion

If you have experienced enamel erosion symptoms such as tooth discolouration or sensitivity to temperature, you must visit your Port Moody dentist as soon as possible. They can assess the situation and provide a resolution. Although nothing can replace the enamel, some dental products and procedures are effective. For example, your dentist’s first recommendation might be to use fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse. If you have lost enamel at the gum line, your dentist can fill the areas. Also, veneers and crowns are cosmetic options available if enamel erosion has caused sensitivity.

In addition to making lifestyle changes, be sure to visit your Port Moody dental clinic every six months. Your dentist can detect issues early on for prompt and effective treatment.