Tooth enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth. It is also the hardest substance in the body, protecting teeth from acidic drinks and food consumed. Over time, the enamel wears down and cannot preserve the teeth. Stopping this tooth erosion is essential for dental health.
Results of Tooth Erosion
If an individual does not floss and brush well, they may experience tooth erosion. This can cause decay that damages the teeth. Symptoms of tooth decay include pain, aches, sensitivity, and bad breath. When tooth enamel starts eroding, it can also lead to cracked teeth. Sometimes, dentists can repair these with gluing, a root canal, or a crown. Tooth erosion also causes yellow, dark brown, and black staining on teeth.
Tooth enamel is a very stong substance mostly made of the mineral hydroxyapatite. Combined with the minerals carbonate, magnesium, sodium, and fluoride, tooth enamel is stronger than even bones. Doctors refer to the strengthening of enamel as remineralization.
Remedies for Remineralization
The best way to stop tooth erosion is to take better care of the teeth with hygiene and lifestyle changes. Many fruits, vegetables, and dairy products can naturally restore teeth. Spinach, grapes, black tea, milk, and other food items with fluoride and calcium can help teeth remineralize.
Sugar causes enamel wear, so chewing sugar-free gum instead of regular gum can make a positive difference for teeth. People should also avoid soft drinks and high-sugar juices.
Water is essential for all systems of the body. Drinking eight to ten glasses of water daily helps rinse saliva and bacteria from teeth after eating. It’s a perfect drink since it cannot harm teeth.
Fluoride toothpaste provides excellent protection for enamel. Patients who brush two to three times daily with fluoride toothpaste have a greater chance of saving their enamel. Additionally, people who worry they are not getting enough calcium may want to take supplements.
Remineralization vs. Regrowth
There is no way to regrow tooth enamel. Remineralization, however, improves enamel by strengthening it. As people age, enamel naturally erodes, so it is essential to preserve what is left.
Some people have poor tooth enamel because of cavities and decay. Dentists can sometimes help preserve and protect enamel by adding sealant and bonding compounds over teeth. They may wrap special pronamel films around teeth. Sometimes, a dentist may need to extract a dead or broken tooth and replace it with an implant.
Reducing Cavities by Changing Diets
When people eat or drink something with sugar or starch, the bacteria in their mouth use the sugar and starch to make acid. These acids break down the tooth’s enamel. Saliva helps fight the acid, but frequent eating without cleaning will cause teeth to lose minerals and eventually develop a cavity.
It is best to limit snacks. Doing so gives teeth a chance to repair themselves. Keep cookies, candy, soda, and juices as special occasion treats. Ensure that children do not eat food after brushing their teeth before bedtime. Saliva does not flow as much during sleep, and teeth cannot repair themselves as easily.
Because there are no living cells in tooth enamel, it cannot regrow. Focusing on better hygiene habits will preserve the current enamel and keep teeth from deterioration. For a stronger, healthier mouth, now is the time to take action.