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Tooth Enamel Erosion – Causes, Symptoms and Prevention measures

March 29th,2018

Tooth Enamel is the hardest substance in our body and it is very harder than our bones. It is the outer surface of a tooth that protects the dentin, pulp and other softer connecting tissues present inside our teeth.

Enamel is composed of minerals like hydroxyapatite and proteins. Normally, a tooth enamel contains 75% minerals, 4% water and 1% proteins. In spite of its hardness, the enamel is susceptible to bacteria and got eroded which is termed as enamel erosion.

Once the enamel is lost, it cannot be restored. Loss of enamel makes the inner parts of a tooth gets exposed to bacteria and other harmful acids which results in tooth decay or probably tooth loss.

Hence it is essential to prevent enamel erosion before it occurs and stay far away from things causing tooth enamel loss. What are they? Let us see.

What causes enamel erosion?

The acidic particles present in food items we consume is the main reason behind tooth enamel loss. When we eat anything highly acidic, the acid components reduces the mineral particles present in enamel which in result our enamel gets softened.

This is why dentists are prescribing to rinse our mouth with water after every meal.

Any physical actions like brushing too vigorously, biting hard objects with teeth and habits like teeth grinding also affect the teeth surface which leads to enamel loss.

Besides these, Dental Specialists reveal that high-stress levels also cause this dental health issue of enamel loss.

Symptoms of Enamel loss

The tooth which lost its enamel shows cups on the tooth surface and it appears more shiny and smooth. Such tooth with enamel erosion exposes the inner dentin present underneath the enamel.

This is a common sign of enamel erosion. Other symptoms vary depending on the phases. The signs which inform you that your erosion is in the dental issue include:
• As the inner dentin gets exposed, the affected tooth appears more dark and yellowish.
• The edge of the tooth appears irregular and uneven.
• Severe tooth pain when you consume sugary foods and hot or cold drinks. It is in the early stage of enamel erosion.
• Enamel erosion causes teeth sensitivity in the later stage. The tooth becomes very sensitive when it is exposed to sweet foods, hot & cold drinks.
• Cuppings and cracks on the tooth surface.

How do we prevent enamel erosion?

By maintaining an effective oral hygiene routine like proper brushing and flossing, rinsing out your mouth after eating food and drinks, you can inhibit your teeth from enamel erosion. You can also consider the following prevention measures to keep your teeth enamel healthy.

1. Brush your teeth gently

As mentioned earlier, applying more pressure on the teeth while brushing makes the enamel gets eroded. Similarly, brushing immediately after consuming food also leads to enamel loss. If you want to brush after every meal, then wait for at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth.

2. Take chewing gums after meals

Neutralizing the acid is an efficient way to protect the enamel. As saliva contains more phosphate and calcium, it helps us to neutralize the acidic particles we intake through the food we consume. Chewing gums are able to maximize the salivary production and saliva flow in our mouth. Hence you may chew sugarless gums after eating food.

3. Limit the consumption of citrus fruits

Citrus fruits like Orange, Grapefruit, Manderin are rich in fibers and vitamins. But they are also rich in acidic components. They put our tooth enamel into certain risks. Hence it is better to consume such citrus foods in a limited manner. Otherwise, take the fruits in liquid form(Juice) and use a straw to drink those.

4. Get treatment for Acid Reflux

GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) arises due to disturbances in the digestive system. It makes the food particles we ate rise back to the esophagus. In such cases, the acidic particles also come back to our mouth and reside in the teeth. It provides a way to our teeth enamel gets eroded easily.

5. Consume more dairy products

Similar to Chewing gums, dairy products like cheese, milk also produce more saliva. Such increase in salivary flow remove the acidic particles resides in our mouth and neutralize them. Besides this, the calcium and phosphate present in the dairy products help us to remineralize our teeth enamel. Hence taking a piece of cheese or a glass of milk after every benefits your teeth enamel.

Conclusion

Even though the loss of tooth enamel is not restorable, it can be treated if you diagnose it in the initial or early stage. Treatments like tooth bonding and dental veneers are applicable to prevent the tooth from further decay.

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