Your tooth enamel is the hard, outer layer of your teeth that protects against decay and daily abuse. Tooth enamel is stronger than bone — but it isn’t immune to damage.
As your enamel erodes or becomes weak, you may become more sensitive to hot and cold drinks and food. This is because weak tooth enamel essentially exposes the nerves in your teeth.
Once tooth enamel has been damaged, it can’t be restored. You can’t rebuild tooth enamel, but you can strengthen it with better lifestyle choices and cosmetic dentistry procedures. Here’s what you should know about enamel erosion and how we can help.
What Causes Enamel Erosion?
Enamel typically becomes eroded as bacteria produce acids that wear it down. This can also be caused by lifestyle choices such as:
- Consuming soft drinks and fruit drinks. Soda is high in citric acid and phosphoric acid that seep into the pores of the enamel.
- Having continual acid reflux or GERD, which causes acidic damage to the enamel.
- Constant dry mouth. Saliva washes away bacteria and protects the enamel from acid, so if you’re not producing enough saliva your enamel may not be as protected.
- Eating a high starch and high sugar diet. The bacteria in your mouth feed on starch and sugar and produce an acidic byproduct which can lead to enamel erosion.
- Nightly friction from teeth grinding and other wear and tear can wear away enamel.
- Daily poor brushing habits. How you brush your teeth may contribute to enamel loss if you brush too often or too hard.
While it’s true that you can’t rebuild or replace enamel, your dentist can help repair the worn enamel and restore the appearance and function to your teeth. There are several procedures that may be a good option, depending on the severity of the enamel loss.
Options for Strengthening Enamel & Restoring Appearance of Teeth Due to Weak Enamel
- Tooth Bonding. One of the most popular cosmetic procedures is called tooth bonding, which is ideal for mild cases of erosion. Tooth bonding involves applying a special tooth-colored resin that’s bonded to the tooth. Bonding can be effective at fixing a chipped tooth, improving the appearance of discolored teeth, and essentially creating “false” enamel to strengthen tooth enamel before it erodes further.
- Dental Veneers. If only the enamel on the front surfaces of your teeth has become damaged, we may recommend dental veneers. Veneers are very thin pieces of porcelain that are cemented to the front-facing surfaces of the teeth. Dental veneers are basically custom-made shells that improve the appearance of your teeth and protect you against the consequences of worn enamel. Once the veneers are bonded to your teeth, they can change the length, size, shape, and color of your teeth.
Due to his years of experience in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Mishaan is an expert at using procedures like dental veneers to carefully craft a beautiful smile that fully compliments you.
- Porcelain Crowns. Finally, porcelain dental crowns may be recommended if your enamel is very damaged or your teeth are severely misshapen, discolored, or require extensive dental work. A crown serves as a cap that covers a damaged tooth completely.
Unfortunately, most people do not give their tooth enamel much thought until it’s gone. Dental procedures like tooth bonding and veneers can be a permanent solution to address weakened enamel while restoring a bright, beautiful smile.
If you are concerned about enamel loss and are in New York City, contact our office today to schedule your appointment and discuss your treatment options with leading cosmetic dentist Dr. Mishaan.