The outermost layer of your teeth is composed of a highly mineralized, semi-translucent material called enamel. This layer is responsible for protecting your teeth, and it is the hardest naturally occurring substance in your body. But there are plenty of causes of thin enamel to watch out for.
As a result, thinning enamel can cause serious problems, as it is less able to protect your teeth from serious damage and can cause your teeth to lose some of their aesthetic appeal. Unfortunately, the process of enamel erosion can be gradual, so you may not even notice it’s happening until your teeth are already suffering the results. That is why visiting the top cosmetic dentist Bloomington has around for regular checkups.
The Warning Signs of Causes of Thin Enamel
The earliest sign of damage to your enamel is often a subtle change in coloration. You may notice that your teeth appear more yellow as the underlying dentin becomes more visible. You may also see an increasing level of translucency near the edges of your teeth. However, these visual cues can also be mistaken for staining, so many patients ignore the initial symptoms of enamel loss.
As the enamel continues to thin, the sensitive lower layers are exposed. This is the point where the enamel loss starts to become painfully obvious. All of a sudden, you will reach a point where the teeth with the least enamel are highly sensitive to temperature. Hot coffee or a glass of ice water can cause sharp pangs of discomfort, indicating that the enamel on those teeth can no longer protect the tooth.
However, this discomfort is only a symptom of an even larger issue. Without the protection of your enamel, you are more likely to see accelerated tooth decay even with a reliable dental hygiene routine. Over time, the loss of your enamel will result in yellowed, noticeably translucent teeth that are highly susceptible to physical damage and fracturing. Given the extent of the damage possible, it is vital that you keep potential causes in mind so that you can limit the erosion of your enamel.
Causes of Thin Enamel: What to Avoid
When it comes to your enamel, sugars, starches, and acids are your worst enemy. These are the top causes of thin enamel. All three components have a corrosive quality that damages enamel over time. Especially if they sit on the teeth for too long. Sodas, coffee, wine, citrus, and white bread are some of the most common culprits, but that doesn’t mean you have to cut them out of your diet. Instead, practice moderation and make sure that you follow them up with appropriate dental care.
When you consume sugars or starches, it is best to clean your teeth as soon as possible. Carrying a travel toothbrush with a breathable case is a great way to keep enamel erosion in check if it concerns you. However, when it comes to strong acids, like red wine, experts suggest waiting about 30 minutes to brush your teeth after consuming a strong acid. Feel free to rinse out your mouth, but the acids temporarily weaken the enamel. Brushing immediately after could damage the enamel further. Unfortunately, if the process of enamel erosion has already begun, then basic dental hygiene may not be enough to stop the process.
Getting Professional Help
If the health of your enamel concerns you, then schedule an examination with your local family dentist. By evaluating the condition of your teeth, your dentist will determine how far the erosion has progressed. There is nothing they can do to reverse the damage. There are no living cells within the enamel, and it is incapable of repairing itself. However, you can discuss techniques for stopping the erosion, such as porcelain veneers in Bloomington. If it is severe, your dentist may suggest using veneers or crowns to protect the teeth from further decay.