Enamel is the shiny white substance that forms the protective outer layer of the tooth. It is the hardest part of the human body, but despite this, it is not without weakness.
Acidic and sugary foods are some of the major causes of enamel loss. When this loss occurs, the enamel is gone for good—it can’t grow back. That’s because the cells that create enamel die during the tooth formation process.
What Causes Enamel Loss?
As mentioned, acid is one of the leading causes of tooth enamel loss. It eats away the enamel, wearing it down over time. Consequently, the tooth loses its protection and becomes prone to infection.
Other causes of enamel loss include:
- Low saliva production
- Acid reflux
- Acidic medications, like antihistamines and aspirin
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
Effects of Tooth Enamel Loss
If you experience any of the following signs and symptoms, you could be suffering from enamel loss:
- Tooth sensitivity– Deterioration of the tooth’s protective layer could result in pain when you eat something cold or hot, or when brushing your teeth.
- Rough edges– As the tooth enamel erodes, it can lead to uneven edges and eventually result in cracks and chips.
- Yellow teeth– When the tooth enamel is worn too thin, it exposes the dentin, which is yellow.
- Increased tooth decay– Losing the tooth’s protective layer makes the tooth more prone to cavities.
How to Replace Your Lost Tooth Enamel
We’ve already said that once enamel is lost, it can’t be replaced. However, it’s possible to salvage your weakened enamel through a process known as remineralization. This process involves replacing certain lost minerals in the tooth enamel, restoring its strength.
Calcium-rich foods and dental products that contain fluoride are effective in promoting remineralization. However, you should consult your dentist for specific products that are appropriate for your enamel loss.
If you have worries about your tooth enamel, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist. You don’t want to wait until you start experiencing the side effects of enamel loss. Address the problem before it progresses to a bigger and more costly dental complication.