Preventing Tooth Erosion, with La Mesa Hills Dentistry
Tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body, and is even tougher than bone! Enamel makes up the outer layer of your teeth and is the first line of defense against physical and chemical damage. Enamel, however, does not have any living cells, so it is unable to repair itself once damaged. Because tooth erosion isn’t reversible, and the enamel will never grow back, it’s critical that we try to prevent it from occurring in the first place. At La Mesa Hills Dentistry, we work closely with our clients to help them maintain their enamel through good daily oral care routines. If you already have some enamel erosion, we can help you prevent it from becoming worse. Read on to learn more about enamel erosion and how LMHD can help you keep your mouth in optimal health.
Your teeth are constantly exposed to many different chemicals from food and bodily fluids. Enamel makes up the outer layer of your teeth and is the first line of defense against this physical and chemical damage. Enamel is very tough, it is the hardest tissue in the body, but it can still experience wear and tear. This is referred to as enamel erosion.
Enamel erosion is permanent: tooth enamel cannot be regrown. Enamel erosion can cause symptoms like tooth stains and sensitivity. If your enamel has started to wear away, you may:
- Feel pain or sensitivity when consuming hot, cold or sweet drinks
- Notice a yellowish discoloration of the teeth
- Find that your fillings have changed
- Face greater risks for more cavities over time
- Develop an abscess, in very extreme cases
- Experience tooth loss, also in very extreme cases
If you have experienced enamel erosion, the team at La Mesa Hills Dentistry may be able to help you with a few techniques. If enamel erosion has caused discolorations on your teeth, you may want to consider a process known as tooth bonding. Bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored material known as resin is applied to stained or damaged teeth. The resin can cover up discolorations and protect your tooth. In more severe cases of enamel erosion, veneers or crowns may be necessary to prevent further decay. At LMHD, we can apply veneers or crowns to damaged teeth in order to restore the look of your smile.
The best way to treat enamel erosion is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Enamel erosion is frequently caused by eating and drinking foods and beverages that are high in acids. Foods that are citrus or citrus-flavored, carbonated or sour, are often highly acidic and can cause tooth erosion. Some foods that are highly acidic include nutritious foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits, and dried fruits, including raisins, which can cause problems because they are sticky and adhere to teeth, so the acids continue to harm teeth long after you stop eating them. Acid in beverages can come from citrus flavorings such as lemon, lime and orange, and soda and sports drinks are especially acidic. Even if the beverage is sugar-free, the carbonation raises the acid level of any drink, regardless of its flavor. These acidic foods and beverages wear away tooth enamel, eroding your teeth. Worse than just changing the appearance of your teeth, tooth erosion opens the door for bacteria that can cause cavities or infection.
One key way to avoid enamel erosion is to limit your intake of these types of highly acidic foods and beverages. Additionally, good daily oral care routines can keep your teeth healthy and limit acid-based erosion. At La Mesa Hills Dentistry, in La Mesa, California, we are here to be partners with you in your oral health. If you are experiencing discomfort, sensitivity, or other symptoms of enamel erosion, give us a call at (619) 469-2902. There is no need to delay taking care of your oral health! La Mesa Hills Dentistry is open for routine dental care and check-ups; contact us today to set up your next appointment!