Tooth enamel is the thin outer layer of your teeth that covers the entire visible part of your tooth. Although it is the hardest tissue in the human body, tooth enamel can wear away over time for a variety of reasons. The term “tooth decay” typically means erosion of the tooth enamel. Here’s a deeper look at the procedures your dentist uses to treat tooth enamel loss.
Erosion of tooth enamel happens when acids wear away the outer coating of teeth. Enamel erosion can be caused by:
- Excessive soda and fruit drink consumption
- Dry mouth or low salivary flow
- A diet high in sugar and starches
- Acid reflux disease
- Digestive problems
- Certain medications that can dry the mouth.
- Environmental factors (friction, wear and tear, stress, and corrosion).
How does the dentist treat it?
Treatment of tooth enamel loss depends on your individual needs. Your dentist may recommend tooth bonding (filling the damaged areas with tooth-colored resins) in order to protect the tooth and improve its appearance. If the enamel loss is more severe, a crown may be necessary to protect the tooth from further decay. Other alternatives include fillings and veneers to restore the tooth to its original strength and appearance.
You may not know you’ve lost tooth enamel until it has reached a more advanced stage. If your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold, you’re probably losing tooth enamel, and if it’s left untreated, it can lead to more severe tooth decay. While toothpastes for sensitive teeth are available, it’s important to see your dentist to find out which treatments are best for your needs. Tooth decay remains a major issue in the United States despite advances in dentistry. The best way to combat this issue is to maintain great oral care habits and see your dentist regularly. If you’re due for a checkup, make an appointment today.