Enamel Erosion: An Overview

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If your dentist has mentioned enamel erosion, you may be concerned about the state of your dental health. While erosion of the enamel can become a serious issue, there are ways to prevent further breakdown and get your teeth to a healthy and strong state. Below is an overview of the importance of enamel, signs of erosion, and tips on what can be done to treat and prevent it.

What is Enamel?

Enamel is the hardened substance that protects the teeth and dental roots from damage and is an important part of maintaining your dental health.

While enamel is a hard substance, it can breakdown or chip causing the surface of the tooth to be exposed and lead to pain and sensitivity. Aside from the pain and unsightliness of enamel erosion, it can also lead to more serious dental issues, such as decay and tooth loss. It's vital that erosion be treated at the first signs, but to do that, you'll first need to know what to look for.

Signs of Erosion

The most common first signs of erosion are sensitivity and pain, though your dentist may first notice it by simply taking a look.

The layer of the teeth beneath enamel, known as dentin, is not the same color, which can lead to discoloration. If your enamel has begun to erode, discoloration will appear due to complete loss of the enamel or due to transparency. Erosion can also cause sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures and pain when eating, drinking, or when the teeth are exposed to air. Even if you aren't experiencing any discomfort, it's still important to treat the problem and prevent further erosion from occurring.

What You Can Do to Prevent and Treat It

Unfortunately, enamel that has already been eroded cannot reappear, but there are steps you can take to stop further erosion and treat the root problem.

Diets high in sugars and acids, found in such things as soda, juice, and sweets, can cause excessive erosion. If cutting these things out of your diet completely seems excessive, be sure to rinse thoroughly with water after consumption and wait 30 minutes before brushing so as not to further grind the sugars and acids into the enamel. If erosion has occurred, an enamel strengthening toothpaste and mouth rinse are recommended, as well as regular visits to the dentist.

To learn more about enamel erosion and what you can do to prevent it, consult with a dentist, such as DSW Dental