prevent enamel erosion
Since enamel loss is irreversible, prevention is key. Learn how you can stop tooth erosion with these 7 tips

Enamel is the outer covering of your teeth that protects them from daily wear and tear, including sensitivity from hot and cold.

Unfortunately, this protective barrier can break down quite easily, especially since today’s diet contains acids that can erode enamel. And once gone, there’s no way to restore it, since tooth enamel doesn’t have living cells.

When it comes to protecting your enamel from decay, your best bet is prevention.

7 tips for preventing enamel loss

Enamel erosion can lead to severe pain and dental issues. So it’s important to watch what you eat, treat any health problems causing enamel erosion, and maintain proper dental hygiene:

  1. Drink water throughout the day.
  2. Avoid sugar where possible.
  3. Chew sugar-free gum, which helps your mouth produce more saliva to remineralize your teeth.
  4. Cut down on carbonated drinks, energy drinks, and pure fruit juice, and use a straw when you do end up consuming these types of drinks.
  5. After eating or drinking anything acidic:
    1. Rinse your mouth water to neutralize acids that can soften enamel.
    2. Wait at least 30 minutes to allow your mouth to produce saliva and for enamel to harden.
    3. Brush your teeth gently.
  6. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and be sure your toothpaste contains fluoride.
  7. Wear a mouthguard if you tend to grind your teeth at night.

An important part of maintaining the health of your tooth enamel is visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.

What are signs of enamel erosion?

Signs of enamel erosion can vary depending on the severity. Signs may include:

  • Tooth discoloration: Enamel is naturally white, while dentin (sensitive tissue underneath enamel)is yellow. Therefore, if your teeth develop more of a yellow tinge, it may be due to enamel loss.
  • Tooth appearance: Your teeth may appear thinner or smaller than normal. The edges of your teeth may also look more rough, irregular, and jagged as enamel erodes, and you may find indentations appearing on the surface of the teeth, (cupping).
  • Tooth sensitivity: In the later stages of enamel erosion, teeth become extremely sensitive to temperature, and you may feel a painful jolt when you eat hot or cold foods.

How can a dentist help with enamel erosion?

If your tooth enamel has already worn off, your dentist may be able to recommend specially formulated toothpaste or over-the-counter products to help remineralize tooth enamel to make it more resistant to acid. However, there are no products that can reverse the damage caused by erosion.

For severely damaged enamel, your dentist recommend dental bonding or dental crown treatment:

  • Bonding: This is a cosmetic procedure that involves creating a tint that matches your tooth and then applying it to the damaged tooth. Once the tooth hardens, the tint is bonded to the tooth and trimmed and polished.
  • Dental crown: This procedure involves applying a crown to a tooth that is weakened and damaged due to enamel loss. The purpose of the crown is to restore the function of the damaged tooth and enable you to chew without discomfort.

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Medically Reviewed on 7/29/2021
References
Dental erosion: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/dental-erosion

What Happens When Tooth Enamel is damaged? https://mypenndentist.org/dental-tips/2021/04/22/how-do-you-fix-tooth-enamel/