The Truth About Enamel
Your tooth enamel is the most mineralized and hardest substance in your entire body. It represents the outer protective coating of your teeth. Once your tooth enamel is gone, it will not grow back. Without a strong enamel layer, your tooth is more prone to cavities and more likely to be sensitive.
Since enamel erosion is considered an irreversible damage, how do we explain dental products that claim to “restore” or “rebuild” your enamel? These products are not actually helping your enamel grow back. Instead, they are strengthening it by repairing the weak spots. This action can be better explained by a process called remineralization. By introducing calcium and minerals that can adhere to your enamel, it creates a long-lasting patch for areas of weakness.
While they are toothpastes and mouth rinses that claim to strengthen your tooth enamel if it starts to wear, your best plan is to prevent enamel erosion in the first place. Enamel is attacked when you consume sugars, tea, soda, caffeine or other acidic foods. These disrupt the natural healing process of mineral replacement and create weak spots within your enamel. You may also suffer from enamel damage as a result of teeth grinding, acid reflux or certain medications.
If your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold or look discolored, you may need to seek treatment for enamel erosion. Extensive enamel loss may require a crown or dental bonding. At the very least, you may need to make dietary changes or begin using a strengthening toothpaste.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates