Tooth Enamel: What causes eroding?

The tooth enamel is the hard outer coating of the teeth. Although the enamel is the hardest tissue found in the human body, it can still wear down due to a number of factors.

Exposure to acids, which can occur when patients drink a lot of soft drinks or fruit juices, is a major culprit in enamel erosion. Similarly, patients with acid reflux disease may also experience enamel erosion, and certain medications can exacerbate the condition. People who vomit frequently, such as bulimics or those with digestive system problems, are also likely to have enamel erosion.

Dry mouth can also contribute to enamel erosion, as it reduces the mouth’s effectiveness at clearing away oral bacteria that produce acids—and decay—as a side effect.

Genetics can influence tooth erosion, too, if patients inherit naturally softer teeth from their parents. These patients are more susceptible to cavities than people with normal enamel.

When the enamel does erode, the best dentists in Bedford can help to address the problem.

A dentist can evaluate the patient to determine what factors are contributing to the enamel erosion, and recommend interventions and behavioral changes to prevent further problems. Patients in this situation may need to give up tried-and-true habits, like a daily soda. A fluoride toothpaste may also be recommended to strengthen the enamel.

Other issues that can cause enamel erosion include teeth grinding and chewing on hard, non-food objects like pencils. In these cases, the dentist may need to provide other interventions, such as a nightguard (to prevent bruxism).

Some symptoms may indicate that your tooth enamel is worn down. You may notice increased sensitivity in the teeth or that the teeth have become discolored, as more of the yellow dentin shows, or visibly damaged. You may also see an uptick in the number of cavities found when you visit the dentist.

If you’ve experienced tooth enamel erosion, our dentists serving Bedford Texas can use a restoration to repair and strengthen the tooth for you. Dental bonding or crowns can be used to give the tooth a structural boost and improve its aesthetics, in the case of damage.