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    • 16 OCT 19
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    What To Do If You Have Worn Out Tooth Enamel

    Animation of three healthy teeth and two dirty teeth with a toothbrush sitting nearby.

    Our teeth are protected by a shiny, outer layer called tooth enamel. Our tooth enamel is essential in protecting us against tooth decay and cavities, but it can wear out over time from age and by consuming acidic foods and beverages. Once your tooth enamel is gone, it’s gone forever, so it’s important to take the right steps now to keep enamel strong for years to come. Cutting out acidic foods, rinsing your mouth with water and brushing your teeth with remineralizing toothpaste can protect your enamel from these harmful dental problems. Follow these tips to keep your tooth enamel strong and improve your oral health!

    Two Types of Tooth Enamel Damage

    Our teeth are the strongest substance in our bodies, but even they can deteriorate under the attack of decay-causing plaque. One of the natural safeguards that our teeth produce is tooth enamel, and it serves as a barrier between the soft insides of our teeth and the foods and drinks we consume. Tooth enamel is the shiny outer layer of our teeth, and its main purpose is to prevent tooth decay from forming. However, if one doesn’t brush or floss well and/or eats acidic foods, they have a higher chance of developing worn out tooth enamel. There are two main types of damage that tooth enamel can experience: abrasion and erosion. Tooth abrasion occurs when something hard rubs against your teeth and scratches the enamel. Brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush, poking around your teeth with a toothpick and scraping teeth with dentures or retainers are some of the more common ways that tooth abrasion occurs. Tooth erosion, on the other hand, deals with overexposure to acids found in the foods and drinks we consume, and in some cases, the regurgitated acids from our stomachs. Both tooth abrasion and tooth erosion affect how quickly tooth enamel wears out, among other oral health issues that soon follow suit. While both of these situations seem pretty straight forward, it can be difficult to tell if you have worn out tooth enamel or not. After identifying the symptoms you’re experiencing, then certain recommendations can be followed to prevent further damage from occurring. In either case, some action should be done rather than nothing or your oral health will take a painful and dangerous hit. 

    How To Recognize Worn Out Tooth Enamel

    Two of the most common signs that your tooth enamel is worn out includes pain and sensitivity when eating, particularly when consuming hot or cold foods or beverages. When tooth erosion occurs, the dentine underneath becomes exposed. Dentine is sensitive, so acidic or sweet foods, and those with extreme temperatures, can make our teeth feel overly sensitive, even when eating something small. Along with pain and sensitivity, yellow teeth is another overt sign that your enamel is damaged. Dentine is a dark yellow color, so when your enamel wears away, that is what shows through. If your teeth feel rough around the edges or you can see indentations on the surface of one or more of your teeth, those are also tell-tale signs that your enamel isn’t doing its job anymore. Your teeth may even chip or crack easier if you don’t have enough tooth enamel to keep them protected, but this typically occurs only in more serious cases. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to schedule a checkup with your dentist so that he/she can evaluate your teeth and determine a treatment plan to reduce your pain and save what enamel you have left. 

    Protecting Your Teeth From Enamel Erosion

    man holding a cupcake in one hand and a tomato in the other with a questionable look on his face.

    As mentioned, acidic foods and drinks are at the front line of the attack when it comes to worn out tooth enamel. Soda, carbonated beverages, candy, lemons, oranges, sports drinks and fruit juices are some of the top contenders in this category and should be consumed in limited amounts. Rather than reaching for a can of soda, try drinking a glass of water or milk instead. Water washes the mouth of toxins and food particles, and milk counteracts acidity found in foods and is a great way to cancel out the acids that are residing in your mouth. Brushing and flossing regularly is another way to keep tooth enamel healthy and strong. When combined, these two can keep plaque at bay and prevent cavities from forming. Cavities develop when tooth enamel is diminished, so make sure to brush and floss your teeth to prevent decay from developing. Using a fluoride mouthwash is also a good idea to help reach those areas that toothbrushes and floss can’t get. Fluoride is used to combat tooth decay and effectively prevents cavities from forming, so it’s a great addition in mouthwash and toothpaste. Additionally, you should have regular dental checkups and cleanings every six months. Not only will the dentist deep clean your teeth of plaque, but he/she will evaluate your tooth enamel, check for signs of oral cancer and monitor your tooth movement. These visits are essential to maintain optimal oral health and prevent disease. 

    Save Your Smile With Our Help!

    If you’ve noticed yellowing teeth or increased sensitivity, call Dr. Evanson at (720) 409-0008 to schedule a dental checkup to review your tooth enamel. Tooth enamel can’t be restored once it’s gone, so it’s important to take these steps now to protect your oral health for the future. Call our office today to get on top of your oral health and keep your smile bright and healthy!

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