Some people may be surprised to find out that the hardest substance in the human body is the enamel, the outer layer of the teeth. It protects the inner area of the teeth from the harmful chemical and physical effects of the dynamic environment of the human mouth. Still, it can be damaged, and as you continue reading, your dentist in Phillipsburg explains what wears down the enamel and how the damage can be prevented.
How is Enamel Worn Down?
The enamel consists mainly of a mineral called hydroxyapatite, which is a crystalline compound. Over time, it can be worn down by the following:
- Sodas – The carbonation process of making soda can cause your enamel to wear prematurely from the chemical reaction that occurs between the drink and your enamel.
- Acidic Foods – Your enamel thrives best in an environment where the pH level is balanced. Thus, if there is too much acid present, your teeth can suffer decay. Even foods like tomatoes and oranges (full of vitamin C), that are considered to be healthy, can breakdown your enamel if consumed in excess.
- High-Sugar Foods – Foods high in sugar will also wear down your enamel prematurely. That’s because, when consumed, they rapidly convert to acid and attract harmful bacteria that can cling to your teeth and have corrosive effects.
Take note that your enamel can’t be replaced once worn down, so it’s important to protect and fortify it.
How to Strengthen the Enamel
Although your enamel can’t be replaced once damaged, it can be strengthened through a process called remineralization. By using products that contain fluoride and calcium, you can sure up any weak spots directly.
Fluoride functions mainly as a protective mechanism by fortifying your enamel while calcium comes the closest to actually restoring the lost material. That’s because it’s one of the original components that form the enamel.
A Final Way to Protect the Enamel
Another contributor to enamel wear is teeth grinding (bruxism). It is usually brought on by stress or sleep apnea and involves unnatural pressure being applied to both sets of teeth. As a result, the enamel can wear prematurely and eventually leave the sensitive inner area of the tooth exposed. This can lead to a dental emergency.
The first course of action to take is to bring this problem to your dentist’s attention. He or she can custom-make a mouthguard for you to wear at night that will prevent any teeth grinding.
Furthermore, you can consider the following alternative treatments to alleviate the stress-related bruxism:
- A New Exercise Program
By taking a proactive approach to protecting your enamel, you can be sure that it lasts and that you enjoy excellent oral health for years to come. To get the expert help you need to fortify your enamel, reach out to your family dentist in Phillipsburg to schedule a visit.
About the Author
A graduate of Fairleigh S. Dickinson School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Jeffrey R. DeMartino has nearly three decades of experience practicing dentistry. He has used his vast expertise and training in various modalities to become a pioneering force in the dental world. Dr. DeMartino helps patients protect their enamel and oral health with compassionate and competent care at DeMartino Dental Group, and he can be reached for more information through his website.
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