Tooth enamel refers to the hardened substance that acts as a protective coating to your tooth. Enamel is essential for your teeth as it keeps the sensitive dentine unexposed. If this dentine starts being exposed, you are likely to suffer from enhanced tooth sensitivity as well as chronic pain. However, not many people know that they are suffering from enamel erosion. Some of the symptoms to look out for include the following:
- Hollowed out parts of your teeth. These will typically indicate that there is the gradual wearing of your teeth's surface.
- Yellow spots on your teeth. The dentine is yellow in colour. If it starts being exposed, you will notice that some parts of your teeth are yellower than your enamel.
What are the causes of enamel erosion?
One of the main causes of enamel erosion is prolonged exposure to acidity. As such, it tends to be a common problem with people who suffer from acid reflux. The continued exposure to the gastric juices will gradually erode the enamel at the back of your teeth. Other causes of enamel erosion include the following:
- Attrition of your teeth: This refers to the friction between your teeth. This is typically caused by bruxism, which refers to teeth grinding.
- Abrasion of your teeth: Abrasion occurs when you use too much force during oral care such as brushing your teeth harder than necessary or flossing your teeth inappropriately. Abrasion can also occur if the bristles of your toothbrush are too rigid, leading to erosion of the enamel.
- Abfraction of your teeth: in this instance, your enamel begins to erode because of undue stress being exacted on the teeth. The stress leads to your teeth gradually developing cracks, which lead to loss of your enamel.
How is enamel erosion treated?
One thing to note about enamel is that it is not living tissue. As such, if you begin to lose your enamel, your teeth will not be able to naturally replace it. Therefore, it you are suffering from enamel erosion you would have to consider cosmetic restorative treatments. Some of the methods used to treat enamel erosion include the following:
- Composite fillings: this type of treatment involves the application of composite resins on the affected areas. Composite fillings are best suited for mild enamel erosion.
- Porcelain veneers: if the enamel erosion has progressed significantly, the cosmetic dentist may have to consider porcelain veneers. These veneers are shell-like coatings made from porcelain that will cover the entire tooth.