We’ve all heard the term “tooth enamel,” but what is it exactly? And how important is it to the overall health of your mouth? Tooth enamel is the hardest mineralized substance in your body (even harder than your bones), and it is integral to protecting your teeth from damage. Tooth enamel acts as a barrier between acids and plaque and the inner layers of your teeth. It’s also key to protecting against sensitivity caused by extremely hot or cold foods and liquids.
What happens when tooth enamel is exposed to acid?
When your tooth enamel is exposed to acid and bacteria build-up, it begins to erode and cause tooth decay. And if it is destroyed altogether, your body doesn’t have the ability to replace it. That’s because it’s void of any living cells and cannot regenerate, so it’s important to protect your tooth enamel by doing the following:
- Avoiding soda and sports drinks
- Curbing your juice and citrus fruit intake
- Minimizing vinegar in your diet, including flavored chips and salad dressings
- Steering clear of candy, which is loaded with sugar
- Fighting the urge to bite or chew on very hard foods like ice cubes, which can damage enamel and cause a crack or chip
Treating Decaying Tooth Enamel
As soon as you experience any tooth pain, it’s important for you to visit your dentist. What’s more, be sure to have regular check-ups (at least two a year) to avoid more serious dental problems down the road. If tooth decay is found, your dentist may apply an artificial crown to the area or use filler solution to fill the cavity.
Of course, the most effective treatment for the loss or damage to your tooth enamel is prevention. Regular brushing and flossing, along with routine dental check-ups, will go a long way in making sure your teeth stay healthy and problem-free. The bottom line: your tooth enamel is important to good overall oral health and deserves to be taken care of.
Schedule an appointment
If you are interested in learning more about protecting your tooth enamel, we welcome the opportunity to meet with you. To schedule an appointment, please contact Scott T. LeSueur, DDS & Charles A Dodaro, DDS online or by calling our Mesa office at (480) 834-6991 today. We serve Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, and all surrounding Arizona communities.