Can Damaged Tooth Enamel Be Repaired?
Repairing Damaged Tooth Enamel
Our teeth are covered with enamel so that we can chew our food without pain and discomfort, but can damaged tooth enamel be repaired?
While dentin, the inner part of the tooth, is responsible for its white appearance, the enamel is translucent. Even though our tooth enamel is very durable, it can be damaged by wear and tear. Dentin also protects your teeth from painful temperatures and substances. So, damaging your enamel puts extra pressure on your dentin.
What Is Tooth Enamel?
Teeth consist of four different types of tissue:
The pulp is comprised of the pulp chamber and the root canal (the innermost portion made up of connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels). A layer of dentin covers this.
Dentin is a hard, yellow substance. It makes up most of the tooth. Then the enamel, which is the hardest substance in the body, covers the dentin and forms the outermost layer of the crown. Lastly, the cementum covers the outside of the root under the gum line and holds the tooth in place.
Strong, Healthy Teeth
Strong, healthy tooth enamel stops tooth sensitivity. When the enamel in your mouth erodes, you are likely to suffer from toothache, especially as a reaction to eating foods at extreme temperatures.
When you have sensitive teeth it can be difficult to chew, bite, crunch, and grind, explains WebMD. When under stress, they can chip and crack. This is why dentists advise you not to chew anything hard like rock candy or ice. Cracked enamel exposes the nerve endings on the inside of the tooth.
Plaque can also damage the tooth’s enamel. When the bacteria in plaque change food starches into acids, the acids eat away at the tooth enamel’s healthy minerals. This wears down the enamel until it becomes pitted. Over time, the pits in the enamel increase in size. In developing teeth, this is called Enamel Hypoplasia.
WebMD explains that, unlike a broken bone, the body cannot repair enamel on its own. Enamel has no living cells.
“You can’t regrow your tooth enamel, but you can remineralize it,” says Upwave review-board member Mark Wolff, DDS, professor of dentistry at New York University. “That’s what these toothpastes actually do. They push calcium and phosphates back into the tooth and harden the enamel.”
Enamel can also get stained.
Which Foods Stain Or Erode Tooth Enamel?
Firstly, all food can erode enamel if you do not brush and floss regularly. When the bacteria in your mouth becomes plaque, it eats away at the tooth’s surface. But, there are also specific foods that are at higher risk.
Anything With A High Pigment Can Stain Teeth
- Red wine,
- Fizzy drinks and fruit juices.
These are high in sugar too. When you consume sugary foods and drinks in excess, bacteria use that sugar to produce acids that attack your enamel. This is particularly true for fizzy drink lovers. Sugary, carbonated beverages contain phosphoric and citric acids.
Other Causes Of Erosion Include:
- Sour sweets. These are just as acidic as soft drinks!
- Lack of saliva. Saliva is a protectant. When you don’t create enough, your mouth won’t be able to wash away the excess acids and sugars. Saliva keeps the mouth alkaline.
- Acid reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn can bring acid from the stomach up to the mouth.
- Gastrointestinal issues,
Every time you put a starchy snack with a tall glass of soft drink into your mouth, it creates an acidic environment. It feeds the bacteria in your mouth. A thin, sticky film of plaque forms and clings to all surfaces in the mouth.
When this plaque hardens, it turns into tartar. Left untreated, tartar will erode the enamel and cause gum disease. In time all structures supporting your teeth will be affected.
Can Tooth Enamel Be Repaired?
Unfortunately, enamel cannot be naturally regenerated. You can, however, avoid erosion with a proper dental health routine.
To prevent it, make sure your dental hygiene products contain fluoride. While acid draws calcium and phosphates out of teeth, fluoride captures the minerals from saliva and forces them back into the tooth, Dental Care explains.
If your enamel is already destroyed, you will need medical intervention for repairs. Having dental insurance like Affinity Dental can save you money – as most dental procedures can be quite costly. Contact us today to find out about your options. For a monthly instalment, you can have dental cover for you and your family!
Restorative Treatment Options For Eroded Enamel:
- Crowns: These are ceramic coverings for the teeth. They protect your teeth from further erosion too.
- Bonding: White composite resin is attached to the damaged portions of your teeth.
- Fillings: A filling is basically like plugging holes. It can repair a damaged tooth and ensure that the life of your tooth is preserved much longer than without it.
Keep The Teeth Healthy
Certain lifestyle and routine changes can maintain the health of your teeth and stop further erosion.
- Brush teeth in the morning and evening with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss every day to remove debris between the teeth.
- Brush your tongue!
- Book a dental cleaning twice a year
- Stay hydrated, which helps with cleansing.
Weak teeth can have an impact on your quality of life. You won’t be able to enjoy food or even speak in cold weather without excruciating pain.