What Is Tooth Enamel and Why Do You Need It?
Think fast: what’s the hardest substance in your body? If you’re like most people, your mind probably jumped to your bones. The truth, however, is that tooth enamel is the hardest biological material, and its score of 5 on the Moh’s hardness scale makes it even harder than steel.
Of course, this crucial part of your teeth is far from indestructible, and it needs your help to keep from eroding. Let’s take a look at what enamel is and why it’s so important.
What Is Tooth Enamel?
Tooth enamel is a thin, protective covering on the outside of your teeth. This tooth covering varies in thickness, but it’s usually thickest on the grinding surfaces of your teeth.
As you might expect, this hard tissue helps to protect you from tooth wear and tear when chewing. It also protects your teeth from the pain of hot and cold substances, which is why your teeth are more likely to be temperature-sensitive if you’re suffering from tooth enamel loss.
Though you might assume your enamel is white, given the colour of your teeth, this protective covering is actually translucent. Underneath the enamel is the dentin, which is responsible for the colour of your teeth. However, when the surface of your enamel gets stained—such as from drinking too much coffee or wine—it can affect the colour of your teeth.
What Can Erode Your Tooth Enamel?
The most common thing that erodes our teeth is the food we eat. Sugary, starchy, and acidic foods and drinks can cause our enamel to decay over time. Be sure to steer clear of the worst offenders!
In addition, there are many other factors that may worsen your enamel deterioration:
- Certain medications
- Genetic conditions that cause enamel defects or premature erosion
- Diseases like acid reflux disease
- Tooth grinding and bruxism
- Accidents that crack or chip a tooth
If your Bondi dentist notices signs of extensive enamel erosion, they’ll talk to you about lifestyle factors that may be affecting your oral health.
It’s important to remember that tooth enamel doesn’t regenerate once it’s gone. Make sure to protect it while you can!
Why Do You Need Your Tooth Enamel?
Without tooth enamel, the soft and sensitive insides of your teeth would be exposed to everything that goes into your mouth—which would be a recipe for disaster.
When your tooth enamel wears down, it may expose the inner dentin of your tooth. This makes you much more likely to experience tooth decay, cavities, and other oral health issues. In addition, without your tooth enamel, you’re more likely to feel pain from hot and cold foods and drinks.
Let Us Treat Your Tooth Enamel
Your tooth enamel is a crucial part of your oral health—which is why it’s so important to take good care of it. Though good dental hygiene can help, partnering with our Bondi Junction dental practice can ensure that your enamel is always checked as part of your routine dental exam so it stays right where you need it.
Our regular dental cleanings go a long way toward strengthening your body’s natural oral defences, and veneers and crowns can cover existing enamel damage and prevent further issues. To learn which solutions are right for you, contact us today to schedule an appointment.