Dental Consultant India
When it comes to dental health, one of the common issues is enamel erosion. Enamel or the white part of your teeth is a tough, calcified tissue covering the crown of the teeth. It is actually the safeguard against the food and drink you take and also protects you against cavities.
When this protection wears away, the underlying yellowish dentin becomes visible. Medical experts call this phenomenon enamel erosion. Popular whitening treatments cannot fix this condition since they only remove food and drink stains.
How enamel erosion occurs
The enamel contains an estimated pH of 5.5, made of carbonated calcium hydroxyapatite. The saliva neutralises the acids and keep the required balance. Moreover, saliva is also instrumental in replacing the lost phosphate and calcium ions and keeps the enamel sturdy. It is when the saliva fails to balance the acids, that enamel erosion takes place.
An important thing to remember is that the enamel is naturally very strong. But erosion reduces the enamel’s ability to regain its original strength. This is because of the lack of living cells in the enamel which makes it impossible to regenerate or heal it. Also, once the protective covering is gone, the nerves at the centre of your teeth can get exposed. This makes them sensitive to hot and cold. What is more alarming is that if ignored this could lead to loss of teeth.
That said, some extent of enamel erosion is just part of aging as enamel is used over the years for eating, drinking, and chewing.
Enamel erosion and diet
Diet plays a lead role in enamel erosion. While healthy and balanced diet do not incur much damage to your enamel, drinking sodas for long periods of time are extremely harmful and damages enamel really fast. The most potential damaging items are sodas, cold drinks, and sweetened tea. All these are highly acidic which wear down the enamel. Besides, the huge amount of sugar present in them develops cavities.
Consulting a dentist about your diet is a good way to determine your lifestyle modifications that can prevent enamel erosion. At DocGenie we have a band of renowned dentists who can guide you suitably in this.
Health issues contributing to the condition
Those who are prone to frequent vomiting or acid reflux stand a higher chance of enamel erosion. This is because the enamel gets repeatedly exposed to stomach acid which causes pitting in the enamel. The threat is aggravated in sleep when less saliva is produced to protect the teeth.
Enamel erosion often goes unnoticed and people remain unaware of the occurrence. Only regular visits to dentists will help find out. Dentists are able to identify by looking at the specific patterns of wear in your mouth. In case of acid reflux during sleep, the side of the mouth predominantly slept on gets affected. On the other hand, if you are bulimic (an eating disorder in which people binge eat) the enamel loss will happen on the inside surfaces of the upper teeth.
Another known factor of enamel erosion is the habit of grinding teeth. It is crucial to consult a dentist to identify the root cause of grinding and reach to a solution.
Also read: Oral Cancer – Early Detection is Vital to Reduce Mortality
Brushing can damage enamel
It might seem very useful to brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking. But medical practitioners say that the right way to do so is half an hour after consuming food or drinks. This is because once the enamel is exposed to the acid present in food and drink it goes to a more delicate state. This is when the saliva quickly starts working in order to wash away the acids, re-mineralize the teeth, and reinforce the enamel.
Notably, people with dry mouth tend to get more cavities as they miss the protective effect of saliva. These individuals can chew sugar-free gum with xylitol to stimulate saliva production as well as reduce acids in their mouth.
These sugar-free gums are also beneficial in preventing bad breath till you get the time to brush your teeth. Also, keep in mind to avoid toothpastes containing baking soda, as it has a very coarse effect on the teeth.
Treatment for enamel erosion
Symptoms of enamel erosion include discoloring of teeth and sensitivity to hot or cold things you eat. If you experience any of these symptoms you must see a dentist for a proper evaluation of your condition. The medical practitioner will provide you with options and help you opt for a course of cure. While lost enamel cannot be replaced, certain lifestyle changes and dental products and procedures will be of help. For best dentist online consultations, visit DocGenie and book an online medical consultation with one of our certified Online doctors.
At the initial stage of enamel erosion, dentists often recommend brushing your teeth with paste containing fluoride or rinsing your mouth with a fluoride-containing mouthwash.
In cases where the wearing out of the enamel erosion is leading to sensitivity or for those interested in cosmetic changes, dentists suggest veneers and crowns which give the look of healthy white teeth. Additionally, dentists use fillings in affected areas for individual losing enamel at the gum-line.
DocGenie is an online telemedicine platform that provides you with quality healthcare from the comfort of your own space. On DocGenie, you can book an online consultation with highly-qualified doctors as well as book lab tests for home collection.