Why Enamel Breaks Down and How You Can Prevent It
Did you know that your teeth are one of the strongest parts of your body? They chew even the toughest foods, keep your mouth and jawbone structured, and even help you talk. But do you know what keeps your teeth so strong?
Teeth are made up of several different parts, which includes strong roots and tough dentin. However, the part of your tooth that is the strongest is the enamel.
Enamel covers the crowns of your teeth, and it’s actually the hardest substance in your entire body. Pretty amazing, right? Unfortunately, much like any other part of your body, if you don’t take care of your enamel, it can begin to decay and break down. Enamel doesn’t regenerate, so it’s especially important that you take good care of it.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why enamel breaks down and the ways you can prevent it:
Drinking Soda & Sports Drinks
By now, most people know how dangerous soft drinks can be to their bodies. However, many people don’t realize that they can also destroy your teeth. Soft drinks—and other drinks like fruit juices—contain high amounts of acid, both citric and phosphoric. High levels of such acid in your mouth leads directly to enamel erosion. It’s a relatively new piece of news that sports drinks are also detrimental to your teeth. With high sugar content and chemicals that can break down your enamel, these should be avoided if possible.
If you have acid reflux or other gastrointestinal problems like frequent vomiting, you may experience enamel break down. Like with soda, these gastrointestinal problems can raise the overall acid content in your mouth, which will cause enamel to weaken and break down, making you more susceptible to more serious dental issues..
Unhealthy Oral Hygiene Habits
Not taking care of your teeth properly is another thing that can lead to the breakdown of your enamel. Plaque and tartar build up leads first to cavities and, if left alone long enough, can lead to greater enamel decay. Other poor oral habits like grinding your teeth or chewing on ice can lead to enamel decay as well.
If you suffer from dry mouth, you may start to eventually experience enamel decay. Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva, which leads to a higher acidic content eventually leading to the breakdown of enamel.
Unfortunately, enamel decay can be caused simply by your own genetic makeup. There’s no way to really prevent your enamel from breaking down if it’s caused by genetics.
How You Can Prevent Enamel Breakdown
So, now that you know what causes enamel decay, how can you prevent it? As with many things in the oral health world, extra attention and care can go a long way with preventing your enamel from breaking down.
If you’re worried about your enamel, try following these methods of prevention:
- Lessen your sugary drink intake – Soda and sports drinks are one of the main causes behind enamel decay, so it’s best to limit the amount you drink. Also try to avoid over-consuming juice drinks that have high concentrations of citric acid.
- Take care of your teeth – Creating and maintaining a solid oral hygiene routine can prevent many problems with enamel erosion. Brush at least two times a day and floss at least once a day to prevent plaque and tartar from building up and eroding your teeth’s enamel.
- See your dentist – If you’re especially worried about enamel decay, don’t hesitate to set up an appointment with your dentist. During the appointment, you can learn more ways to keep your teeth healthy and strong.
If you’ve already experienced severe decay, it’s important to get the decayed teeth corrected. At LeDowns Dentistry, we have root canal specialists in Denver CO on staff, and also offer tooth colored fillings for more minor decay. Once corrected, we can help get your oral hygiene back on track to avoid future issues.