LAKE FOREST AND LAKE BLUFF IL
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. Its robust structure is like an eggshell protecting the pulp and dentin in the tooth’s interior. Additionally, tooth enamel is a frontline defense against harmful bacteria and tooth decay. Therefore, when you find out you have tooth enamel loss, it can be quite alarming. Fortunately, our Lake Forest family dentists at Lake Forest Smiles answer the question on the blog today “Can anything can be done about tooth enamel erosion?” We will take a closer look at tooth enamel, identifying tooth enamel loss, ways to prevent enamel loss, and available treatments to restore a healthy smile.
What is tooth enamel?
Tooth enamel is responsible for protecting the more sensitive parts of your teeth. Its structure includes nutrients and minerals like sodium, carbonate, magnesium, hydroxyapatite, and fluoride. Each component works together 24 hours a day to protect your teeth and keep them healthy.
Healthy tooth enamel is translucent and has various hues of white. Although your tooth enamel is approximately 2.58 millimeters thick, it’s still able to provide adequate protection to the delicate internal nerves. Therefore, we recommend that patients consume a healthy diet, maintain an at-home oral hygiene regimen, and visit our office for regular checkups and cleanings.
Tooth Enamel Erosion Signs
Unlike your hair or skin, your body will not produce more tooth enamel to replace the loss. Therefore, when enamel erosion occurs, you may see the following signs, according to our family dentists in Lake Forest.
- Tooth Discoloration – As tooth enamel erodes, the underlying dentin layer becomes exposed and can cause your teeth to appear yellow.
- Tooth Sensitivity – Experiencing painful zings when you eat or drink something hot, cold, or sweet could mean you have enamel erosion.
- Tooth Cracks or Chips – Enamel erosion can cause your teeth to look rough, jagged, or worn. Additionally, enamel eroded teeth are more susceptible to cracking and breaking.
- Tooth Surface Changes – Smooth or shiny tooth surfaces may indicate mineral loss, which directly impacts enamel erosion.
Tooth enamel erosion increases your risk for tooth decay, cavities, and advanced dental conditions. Even though it’s impossible to regenerate your enamel naturally, our Lake Forest dental office offers several treatments to protect enamel eroded teeth, improve your oral health, and make your smile shine once again.
Tooth Enamel Preservation
It may appear that tooth enamel erosion is simply a part of life. However, your daily behaviors can either speed up the erosion process or slow it down. For example, consuming a diet of excess sugar and highly acidic foods and beverages can break down tooth enamel and increase your tooth decay and cavity risk.
Fortunately, you can help protect and preserve your tooth enamel by following the following tips
- Fight bacteria by drinking green or black tea.
- Promote saliva production by chewing sugar-free gum.
- Fight decay by consuming fiber-rich foods like fruit and vegetables.
- Combat dry mouth and reduce harmful bacteria by drinking water daily.
Tooth Enamel Loss Treatments
As with most dental treatments, the extent, and type of treatment used for your condition depends on your oral health status and tooth loss severity.
Fortunately, our Lake Forest dentists have multiple highly effective solutions to protect your teeth and restore confidence
- Remineralizing – Fluoride treatments can add calcium tooth surfaces by bonding to existing enamel for those with mild enamel erosion.
- Cosmetic Bonding – Composite bonding uses a resin that bonds to existing enamel to restore strength and stability for patients with moderate cases of enamel erosion.
- Cosmetic Veneers – Veneers are thin shells that attach to the front of your teeth, covering imperfections, strengthening your tooth, and restoring your smile. Veneers are best for those with enamel erosion that is severe, and that discolors most of their tooth’s surface.
- Dental Crowns – Dental crowns are teeth-shaped caps that protect sensitive inner nerves when tooth enamel severely erodes and there is additional damage to the tooth that cannot be repaired with minimal treatments.
Family Dentist in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire
Even though tooth enamel erosion occurs throughout your life, there are ways to slow the process and help you retain better oral health. Between reducing acidic, sugary foods and beverages, maintaining an at-home oral health regimen, and visiting our Lake Forest dental office, you can reduce your tooth enamel loss. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment with us, feel free to call Lake Forest Smiles at (847) 234-4800 or contact us online.