If there is enamel destruction or erosion then nobody can restore tooth enamel back to its original condition. However, weakened enamel can be improved to some extent by improving its mineral content. Also, crowns, veneers and tooth bonding can prevent further decay of tooth enamel. The enamel on your teeth is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance in a human body. The enamel is made up of mostly minerals such as hydroxyapatite (1).
Enamel might be very tough but it is very much prone to destruction. Enamel is always interacting with a verity of microbes. It also bears a different range of temperatures and different types of food and drinks that we eat continuously. All these factors lead to the decay of enamel.
Enamel has no living cells. The body cannot repair a chipped or cracked tooth on its own. The enamel forming-cells i.e. ameloblasts are destroyed after the eruption of the tooth. Therefore, no enamel is formed after the tooth eruption.
Tooth enamel erosion
Enamel in the outer most covering of a teeth. Enamel is exposed to many different chemicals, temperatures, and pH from a variety of food items and body fluids. This causes wear and tear of the enamel, which is also known as enamel erosion.
Enamel erosion can be identified easily. Teeth usually become discolored, sensitive to hot or cold foods. Sooner or later, your teeth become highly vulnerable to chipping or breakage. (2)
What causes erosion of enamel?
The drinks and the food you ingest can largely affect the health of your tooth enamel. The acids present in food and liquids that we consume are the primary cause of enamel erosion.
The saliva produced in mouth continually neutralizes the acids in your mouth. But a continuous consumption of highly acidic food erodes enamel over time.
Here are some factors that cause enamel depredation –
- Excessive soft drink consumption (high levels of phosphoric and citric acids) and fruit drinks (high acidity).
- Dry mouth or low salivary flow.
- Brushing teeth too hard, chewing tobacco, and biting on hard objects can lead to wear and tear of teeth. Also, friction can also be caused by teeth grinding or clenching or bruxism.
- Diet with high sugar and starch content. (3)
- Excess vitamin C, found in citrus fruits can also contribute to enamel erosion.
- Regularly intake of certain medications such as antihistamines and aspirin.
- Eating disorders like bulimia expose teeth to stomach acid.
- Diabetic people are prone to enamel errosion.
How to restore tooth enamel?
Enamel doesn’t have living cells, so it’s not possible to build back all the lost enamel, but the quality of enamel can be improved by increasing the mineral content of weekend enamel.
Your dentist can assist to prevent enamel erosion or to improve already damaged enamel. There are two treatments your dentist can provide to restore your lost enamel:
In tooth bonding, a tooth color composite resin is applied to a decayed, chipped, fractured or discolored tooth. It is mostly done for a cosmetic purpose since the overall appearance of the tooth is improved.
Tooth bonding is a very quick procedure and can be done only during a single visit to your dentist. Although, it can be performed only in the case of mild enamel erosion.
A dental crown, also known as dental caps, is the type of dental restoration which caps the tooth entirely. The crowns are preferred when the enamel is severely damaged.
The crown enables you to eat and chew properly. It also prevents future decay of the tooth.
A veneer is a layer of dental material placed over the teeth to prevent further decay of the tooth. Veneer covers the tooth and protects the surface of the tooth from damage.
Multiple veneers can also close the spaces between the teeth and lengthen the teeth.
How can you prevent degradation of enamel?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, one of the best oral health reform is it starts to emphasize prevention. You can prevent the enamel erosion from getting worse by looking after your teeth.
Following are several options that may help you to prevent enamel erosion:
- The most important prevention measure is to brush teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly to maintain a good oral hygiene.
- Drink more water and stay hydrated throughout the day. Water allows keeping your mouth moist which helps your saliva to work more efficiently. More saliva helps your mouth able to regulate bits of food better. (4)
- Eat less sugary food. Sugar is the leading cause of cavities. Eating sugar based food items increases the chance of tooth decay since mouth stays acidic after eating sugar-based foods for a few hours.
- Make sure to brush your teeth soon after eating any sugar and starch-based foods.
- Increase your intake of dairy products because they have high calcium levels and enamel mostly consists of calcium compounds.
- Drink green tea or black tea as it contains several antioxidants and helps in balancing the pH of mouth.
- Chew sugar-free gum between meals. Chewing gum increases saliva production by 10 times.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to strengthen your teeth.
Over to you on restore tooth enamel
You can restore tooth enamel 100% but you can for sure prevents enamel erosion by following a good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly. It’s advised to have teeth cleaning every six months.
Taking good care of your teeth along with regular dental cleanings can prevent tooth decay and various other dental problems.
You can also consult with your dentist for ways, such as crowns, veneers, and tooth bonding, to restore tooth enamel to some extent.