Preventing Tooth Enamel Loss In Adults & Children
Tooth enamel erosion can be experienced by people of all ages. This is why parents should be proactive, adopt measures to prevent tooth enamel loss in early childhood. Having a proper oral care routine that is administered twice daily is the best way to protect your children. What you experience in childhood, as it relates to oral health, is often what you will likely experience as an adult. Set your children on the right path early to prevent adult oral health issues.
What is Enamel?
Enamel is the hardest part of your teeth; it is, in fact, the hardest tissue or substance in your body. The translucent material covers the outer part of your teeth and offers protection against wear and tear as well as external factors capable of causing damage.
But, in spite of being very tough, tooth enamel can gradually disappear or erode over time, mainly as a result of improper food choices and poor oral care. Luckily, the dental problem is preventable. The team at Dr. Marra’s dentist office in Huntersville, NC explains what you can do to prevent enamel loss and to halt any further erosion.
Causes and Symptoms of Enamel Erosion
There are several factors that can cause you to experience tooth enamel erosion, including both physical and environmental causes.
The biggest culprits in the incidence of enamel loss include foods and drinks containing sugar or starch, including fruit juices and soft drinks. The acids, such as citric and phosphoric acids, which they contain or produce, are capable of weakening your enamel.
Other known causes of erosion include:
- Xerostomia (dry mouth)
- Certain medications
- Acid reflux disease and other gastrointestinal disorders
- Wear and tear
- Genetic disorders
The particular symptoms you will notice depend on the severity of your tooth erosion. But a common sign of this problem is sensitivity, which can make you feel pain or discomfort whenever you consume something sweet, hot or cold.
Among other signs of tooth enamel loss are:
- Yellowing or discoloration of teeth
- Cracks or chips in teeth
- The appearance of indentations (pitting) on the tooth surface
Tooth enamel loss results in tooth decay if not treated early. It can worsen to the point where cavities penetrate to the inner part of the tooth where there are nerves. Painful abscesses are often a symptom of this advanced stage.
How to Prevent Tooth Enamel Loss
The weakening of tooth enamel is a condition that is avoidable. However, you must first understand what you can do to prevent tooth enamel loss. You do not have to experience the pain of tooth decay resulting from tooth enamel loss.
How can one best prevent the loss of tooth enamel?
Reducing acidic foods and drinks – Realizing their harmful effects, you will do well to reduce your intake of sugary or starchy foods. Consider using a straw if you must take acidic drinks and endeavor to rinse with water after consuming them.
Brushing and flossing regularly – It may not be entirely possible to eliminate foods and drinks that can cause enamel loss from your diet. This again brings in the importance of brushing at least twice and flossing at least once a day to get rid of harmful remnants around your teeth and gums.
Brushing correctly – Also, make sure that you do not overdo it when brushing. Avoid brushing too soon after a meal or too hard, as this can make you lose enamel.
Using the right toothpaste – It is possible to prevent tooth enamel loss by using a toothpaste that contains the right amount of fluoride. You benefit more if such a product also has the ingredient hydroxyapatite.
In addition, avoid taking unhealthy snacks between meals; consider sugar-free chewing gum instead. And, of course, you should try to visit our Family Dentist in Huntersville, NC at least once every six months.
How Do You Treat Enamel Loss?
Treatment of this problem often involves the use of the toothpaste containing fluoride and/or hydroxyapatite. These help to restore or enhance the mineral content of your teeth.
But the above products do not rebuild teeth, but only assists in restoring weakened enamel to a degree. These kinds of toothpaste help to prevent tooth enamel loss from getting worse.
There’s only little you can do when significant damage has occurred. If you have chipped or cracked teeth, Dr. Marra may recommend bonding to enhance aesthetics and protect against further damage.
A crown or veneer is another option when tooth enamel loss is considerable. This also helps to protect your teeth and halt aggravation of cavities.