What is Tooth Enamel?

“In the world of dental implants and cosmetic dentistry, tooth enamel erosion is a common problem,” says Dr. Carol Ford. Yet many patients have no idea there is anything wrong until they come into the office complaining of sensitivity or pain, and by then it can be too late.

What is enamel erosion and how do you prevent it?

Phoenix_DentistTooth enamel is the hard shell covering your teeth, allowing us to break down food, drink cold liquids, and eat hot soup. Without enamel, these tasks would be very painful.  As tough and durable as this covering is, it’s not indestructible. Once enamel has been worn away, chipped, or cracked, it will not naturally be restored and decay is likely to invade the tooth. Before you know it, your teeth may be decaying and breaking and may need to be replaced with dental implants.

“Tooth enamel erosion can be caused by a number of things. Generally if the abrasion is at the gum line, it’s due to using a medium to hard brush or aggressive brushing,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix cosmetic dentistry office. Your diet also plays a major role in causing tooth enamel erosion. How much soda do you drink daily? Do you eat acidic foods such as lemons and other citrus? How about your typical supply of sweets and starches?  These foods have a high potential to damage your tooth enamel, so avoid them whenever possible or at least rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after eating them.

Patients with medical conditions are sometimes given drugs that can cause tooth enamel erosion. For example patients with Acid Reflux often also have enamel erosion, as well as people who take aspirin regularly. It can be dangerous to make changes in your medical treatment, so in these cases your cosmetic dentist will prescribe special toothpaste and mouthwash to prevent erosion and restore enamel.

Last but not least are the bad habits that may cause erosion. Using chewing tobacco, brushing or flossing too hard, or chewing on things like fingernails or foreign objects can scrape off your enamel, leaving you open to trouble.

Dr. Carol Ford loves to improve smiles using dental implants and other amazing technologies, but enamel erosion is a preventable condition that doesn’t have to lead to tooth loss. Ask Dr. Ford today about preventing enamel erosion and keeping your smile bright for decades!

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