September 1, 2019
The outermost layer of your teeth is called the enamel. It acts as a shield to protect your pearly whites from cavities and infections. However, over years of eating and drinking acidic products and sometimes going to sleep without brushing your teeth, the protective layer has started eroding, and now you’re wondering “Can tooth enamel be restored?” Read on to find out how you can protect your mouth from oral health problems and give your teeth the minerals they need to be happy and healthy.
What Causes Enamel Erosion?
The thin, outermost layer of your teeth is the hardest and most mineralized substance found in your entire body. Enamel varies in color, which is why no two teeth look exactly the same. Over time, it deteriorates for a variety of reasons, some of these including:
- Routinely drinking soft drinks and anything high in phosphoric and citric acids.
- Drinking acidic fruit juices.
- Decreased salivation or dry mouth.
- Chronic acid reflux.
- Digestive issues.
- Taking certain medications such as antihistamines.
- Wear-and-tear caused by teeth grinding.
- Brushing too aggressively.
Without your enamel to protect your teeth, the underlying layers that are more fragile are left vulnerable.
Why is Your Enamel So Important?
Your tooth enamel protects your pearly whites from daily use and tasks such as chewing food. Although it’s the hardest substance in your entire body, it can still become damaged, chipped, or cracked. If your enamel has begun to erode, your teeth may become more sensitive to temperatures since it acts to insulate them as well.
Unfortunately, once your enamel becomes chipped or broken, it’s impossible to repair. Because it isn’t comprised of living cells, your body isn’t able to heal it. Fortunately, if you have experienced enamel deterioration, there are some things you can do at home to help provide your teeth with the minerals and vitamins they need to strengthen their protective layer.
What Can You Do To Rebuild Tooth Enamel?
Your enamel is made from minerals such as calcium and phosphate, along with bone. If you’ve noticed that your teeth have become sensitive or believe your enamel has thinned, speak with your dentist about what you can do to rebuild the layer. Some at-home remedies for this include:
- Use fluoride toothpaste.
- Cut out sugar to keep bacteria from producing acid that erodes enamel.
- Chew sugar-free gum to promote saliva production.
- Consume alternative milk options like almond and soy products.
- Take vitamin D supplements or multivitamins.
- Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle with you.
- Brush with toothpaste specially made for sensitive teeth to rebuild enamel.
If you’re concerned about leaving your teeth vulnerable to developing oral health problems, ask your dentist at your checkup and cleaning what oral hygiene products they would recommend for you to use. They can provide you with safe ways to fortify your oral health and reduce any side effects of enamel erosion such as tooth sensitivity.
About the Author
Dr. Shri Chopra is a dentist in Falls Church who is passionate about providing her patients with the tips and tools they need to protect their teeth from common oral health problems. She completed advanced education and training in general dentistry and works with her patients to develop treatments and plans that improve their overall quality of life and wellbeing. She provides her patients with comprehensive dental care, including every service from a routine checkup and cleaning to orthodontic treatments. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit Tysons Dental Esthetics’ website or call 703-821-8111.
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