A tooth is made up of three layers: Enamel, Dentin, and Pulp. Tooth enamel is the thin outer layer of the tooth. Enamel is considered the hardest structure in the mouth and even harder than bones. It is usually translucent and can easily be stained by things like red wine, tea, and coffee. The body cannot repair or regrow tooth enamel like it can other parts of the body. Hence once your enamel is chipped, cracked, worn, eroded, or damaged by cavities a dental professional, like our Highlands Ranch Dentist, need to repair these surfaces.
Protecting Your Enamel:
The everyday force of biting down can create 55 lbs. of pressure on your incisors (or middle teeth) and at least 200 lbs. of pressure on your molars. It is estimated at 80% of the population clenches and grinds especially at night. Most of us are unaware of this issue until we start to see the effects on our teeth. Talk to our Highlands Ranch Dentist, Dr. Sarah Parsons about ways you can protect your enamel and about wearing a night guard.
Acid can create harmful effects on your teeth including increasing cavity-causing bacteria and eroding tooth enamel. Acid can be produced from acidic foods and drinks. Foods and drinks that have a pH of 5.3 or lever can cause acid wear on enamel. You can protect your teeth from acid by rinsing them with water immediately after consuming highly acidic foods and drinks. Using plain baking soda on a toothbrush can also reduce the amount of acid in your mouth. Chewing sugar-free gums or sucking on sugar-free candies can stimulate saliva flow which helps buffer and eliminate acidity in the mouth.
Signs Of Enamel Problems:
- Sensitivity: Tooth sensitivity is never normal. This sensitivity can be in response from hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods. If you are experiencing sensitivity, please talk to our Highlands Ranch Dentist immediately.
- Darkening: Wearing of tooth enamel causes it to become thinner and more of the underlying dentin shows through. This can cause the teeth to have a more yellow appearance.
- Cracks and Chips: You may notice cracks that run horizontal or vertical and also may notice tiny chips that turn into larger chips. This can be caused by unintentional or nighttime clenching/grinding.
- Cupping: Small indentations on the tooth surface
- Notching: These are mostly noticed at the gum line and may be a result of clenching/grinding or periodontal disease. Make sure to consult with our Highlands Ranch Dentist on the root of the problem to discuss your options.
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