Enamel erosion is an ongoing and insidious process. It’s downright deadly to teeth if you don’t stop it in time.
What is enamel erosion? It’s physical wear to the outer layer of your tooth structure. This process commonly happens as a result of acid exposure, but it can also be due to mechanical causes, such as bruxism or brushing too aggressively. If you’re alert to the following signs, you can take action before it’s too late.
Enamel is clear, but it looks pretty white against the dark yellow part of your tooth’s dentin layer. If the enamel starts to thin out, the layers on the edge of your tooth that don’t have dentin under them will look thin and glassy. Your teeth might look like they’d chip very easily.
When you lose enamel, that yellow dentin shows through a lot more. Our enamel wears down with age. As our teeth get older, they tend to look darker than years past.
A teeth grinding and clenching habit will quickly shave off lots of enamel. Your teeth might look flat, stubby, or square if you’re subconsciously chewing off your own enamel. A custom dental nightguard can protect your tooth enamel from further damage.
Your enamel helps to insulate the nerves in your teeth from changes in temperature and acidity. As enamel wears away, the nerves become more exposed to things that bother them. If your smile is getting unusually more sensitive, it could be a sign that your teeth are in jeopardy.
Have you noticed any of the signs described above? Contact your dentist right away to find out how to save your smile.
Posted on behalf of:
Springhurst Hills Dentistry
10494 Westport Rd Suite 107
Louisville, KY 40241
Is heartburn or acid reflux something that impacts your day-to-day life? If so, then there is something that you should know. Acid reflux disease and chronic heartburn can erode your tooth enamel.
What Your Dentist Sees
Even if you don’t realize that you’re experiencing heartburn, the condition can cause irreversible changes to your teeth. The most noticeable signs will be shallow divots (facets) on the cusp tips of your very back teeth, the molars. Although many different things can cause enamel erosion, having eroded cusp tips is almost always due to chronic gastric acid exposure.
Other areas that suffer from enamel erosion can occur along the gumlines or the upper front teeth. However, the cusp tips of the molars are almost always the first ones to pop up.
What to Do
Prevention is the most important step, as chronic acid exposure erodes more than just your teeth. It also damages the soft tissues inside of your digestive tract. Rather than treating the symptoms of heartburn with over the counter medication, it’s best to prevent it from happening in the first place. Your doctor may prescribe a medication that reduces gastric acid reflux, or you may simply need to avoid certain types of foods. You may even want to use a supplemental fluoride each night to make your tooth enamel more resistant to erosion and sensitivity.
Not everyone realizes that they are experiencing heartburn. It may even happen while you sleep. If your dentist spots signs of acid reflux, it’s best to see your doctor right away. Long-term erosion of your teeth can damage the function of your smile, its appearance, and the integrity of restorations that you’ve invested in.
Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
If acid reflux disease affects your life, then it’s important that you know it also affects your smile. Undiagnosed or unmanaged reflux disease can destroy your healthy teeth without you even knowing it. In fact, many dental professionals bring the subject up to their patients just after seeing clinical manifestations of the condition impacting their tooth enamel. How does this condition present itself inside of your mouth?
You already know that acid reflux can destroy the soft tissue lining of your esophagus, but did you know it could actually destroy very hard tooth enamel? Most acid reflux erosion is seen on the cusps of the back molars, but it can sometimes be seen across the smooth surfaces of the front teeth as well. If you use a hard-bristled brush or scrub too hard with you brush your teeth this will accelerate the amount of erosion that takes place.
Thin, Glossy Enamel
Etching and erosion of the enamel can make the enamel become thinner over time. This is also seen as a glossy, glass-like appearance as the tooth thins. If this happens, the teeth become more brittle and susceptible to cracking, fractures, or chips during everyday use.
Short Restoration Life
Fillings and other types of restorations may have shorter life spans when acidic liquids eat away at the margins of the restoration. Rather than lasting 10-15 years, a restoration might experience leakage around the edges and need to be replaced sooner than normal.
Seeing your medical practitioner about your GERD or heartburn is important for your smile and your lifestyle. Your dentist can also prescribe a fluoride to use each day to reduce the amount of erosion and strengthen at-risk enamel. Be sure to see your dentist regularly to carefully monitor the health of your smile if you live with heartburn or GERD.
Posted on behalf of:
Springhill Dental Health Center
4620 Spring Hill Ave
Mobile, AL 36608
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