Enamel Erosion, Causes, and Treatment
An essential part of the teeth is the enamel. It is the protective tissue that covers and protects the crown. It is the strongest part of the tooth’s tissues. When the enamel is weak, the tooth suffers because the underlying tissues are weaker than the enamel. Weakened enamel will quickly give rise to cavities and expose the nerves in the center of the teeth. Also, the enamel is the white part of the tooth that hides the yellow part- the dentin. When there is enamel erosion, the dentin appears, and no amount of whitening toothpaste or treatment can hide it.
The enamel is made up of an element called: carbonated calcium hydroxyapatite. As a result, it has a pH of 5.5, which makes it acidic. The acidity is meant to be neutralized by a normal saliva production rate. When the saliva production rate reduces, the acidic impact will be greatly enhanced causing what is known as enamel erosion.
Causes of enamel erosion
Enamel erosion occurs when the rate of production of saliva can no longer catch up with the acidity of the enamel. When this erosion occurs, it becomes a significant issue. It is partly because the enamel cannot reproduce itself. As a result, it can lead ultimately to teeth damage and loss.
Several factors can cause enamel erosion, including diet, acid reflux, brushing or it might just occur as a result of the aging process.
Diet and Enamel Erosion
Like every other health issue, nutrition is critical and primary. Bad eating habits cause enamel erosion. Excessive (frequency and intensity) consumption of energy and sports drinks, flavored coffee, alcohol, sour gummies, and even ice can cause enamel erosion. The acidic content of these drinks weakens the enamel. When the enamel weakens, the sugary substance is freed to cause cavities and untold damage to the teeth.
You might need to avoid some of these foods and drinks. In some cases, a reduction in their consumption is advised. Whatever will work for you depends on your dentist recommendation.
Other factors that cause enamel erosion
Another thing that can cause enamel erosion is acid from the stomach. During vomiting, acid from the stomach can come in contact with the enamel. It is especially true in cases of continuous vomiting. Constant vomiting increases the acidity of the teeth and may lead to erosion.
Acid reflux can also occur at night. In the night, the enamel more exposed because of the reduction in the production of saliva.
Teeth grinding can also weaken the enamel over time.
A timeout with the dentist can help to discover the possibility that any of this is responsible for enamel erosion or puts you at the risk of it.
Brushing as a cause of enamel erosion
Dentists have observed that many people try to protect their enamel by brushing. They quickly brush the teeth after any food or drink that is acidic is taken as a means of protecting the enamel. But rather than help, this can even be dangerous. When you take such foods and drinks, the saliva in the mouth is set to work to control the acidic level in the teeth. But brushing at the spot will erode the effect of the saliva and leave enamel exposed without help. It may lead to enamel erosion. If brushing helps at all, it should be done at least forty minutes after you have taken the food or drink.
Treatment options for enamel erosion
Sugar-free gum that contains xylitol can be a good treatment for people who experience enamel erosion as a result of dry mouth and insufficient production of saliva.
But first and foremost, when you suspect (exposed dentin, hot and cold sensitivity) that you might have enamel erosion, see a dentist.
You can maintain an eroded enamel.
First with a nutritional change. The primary cause of enamel erosion is diet. A dentist will prescribe specific dietary reforms as treatment.
Second, you can use fluoride as a treatment. Brushing and flossing with fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash can significantly improve dental health.
Third, veneers can be used as a cosmetic change while filling can be an option in some instances.