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Enamel Erosion: The Cause and the Cure

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Enamel Erosion: The Cause and the Cure

The enamel of our tooth is the hardest substance in our body. It’s even stronger than a diamond. Over a period of time, if the tooth enamel isn’t taken care of, the enamel starts eroding leading to sensitivity. There is no one reason for enamel erosion. The tooth enamel also erodes due to certain lifestyle habits, medical conditions, aerated drinks, and food choices.

Teeth being the hardest substance of our body, we take it to extreme levels during our lifestyle just to showcase our tooth strength. Since enamel is a mineral, it doesn’t develop again. At a point, when it’s damaged, chipped, broken, or worn out, that loss becomes everlasting. As hard as tooth enamel is, it can sustain a lot of damage, and erosion ranks as the most common type of tooth enamel damage. The tooth surfaces must deal with a constantly changing environment. Despite eating and drinking multiple times a day, we miss onto the acids released by the food items that lead to the weakening of tooth enamel.

Enamel, being the hardest substance in the body, but even this incredibly intense external tooth layer can be harmed by a pH environment lower than 5.5. and pH 0 being the most acidic. If these harsh conditions occur on regular basis, then the top layer of your tooth can be eroded away anytime soon.

What Causes to Enamel Loss?

The main cause of enamel loss is acid in food and drinks. Acid on tooth acts roughly on your teeth making it vulnerable to the loss of enamel.
Tooth enamel doesn’t erode only due to acid, but also erodes due to these reasons:

  • Dehydration leads to low salivary flow and dry mouth which leads to loss of enamel.
  • Acid reflux is a digestive disease in which stomach acid or bile irritates the food pipe lining which might eventually lead to the loss of enamel.
  • Gastrointestinal Tract issues that might also lead to loss of teeth enamel.
  • Taking acidic medicines such as aspirin or antihistamines may also lead to loss of enamel.
  • Loss of Enamel is natural at times as it is in genetics.
  • In a stressed lifestyle, some people clench their jaw during sleep leading to enamel erosion and jaw pain in the long run.
  • Bruxism, or grinding of the teeth is a common habit that people have when they get angry. Grinding of teeth might also result in loss of tooth enamel.

External Factors Resulting in Loss of Enamel

  • Foods including acidic fruits such as citrus fruits, apples, and tomatoes.
  • High use of vinegar is risky for teeth.
  • Fizzy drinks and alcohol are unhealthy for teeth as well as life.
  • Lemon slice in hot water. Often taken for its health benefits but the pH of lemon juice is around 2 so adding this to hot water almost creates hot acid. As a comparison, the pH of soda usually sits around 2.5.
  • Flavored Water, sports drinks, and preserved fruit juices might lead to loss of enamel.
  • Excess Smoking might affect your teeth resulting in making your enamel weak.

How to Reduce or Prevent Loss of Enamel?

  • Avoid regular intake of food and drink that is acidic. If in case you wish to drink an aerated drink, always use a straw to lower down the direct contact of fizz with your teeth.
  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste two times every day for 2 minutes with a delicate bristled brush.
  • Drink enough water and stay hydrated allowing normal salivary flow.
  • Chewing Sugar-free gum may help in balancing the pH level of your mouth.
  • Do not brush immediately after meals. Wait at least for an hour before you do so.
  • The grinding of teeth can be reduced by wearing a teeth guard.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for dental check-ups.

Keep these points in mind for the cause and cure and rush to your dentist as soon as you feel an irritation in your teeth or feel sensitivity. Also, do feel free to consult our orthodontists at Smile Craft. Book your appointment today!

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Dr. Nirali Patel

Dr. Nirali Patel is the founder and clinical Director at Smile Craft Dental Studio in Ahmedabad, India. Outside of her clinical responsibilities, she dedicates her time to sharing his dental knowledge with a broader audience. Her articles illuminate the importance of dental care, current dentistry advancements, and enhance understanding of holistic oral health.