Teeth Enamel: What Wears It Down?

Mar 11, 2020 | Dental Information

Our teeth are highly durable and strong, protecting your mouth, helping you chew, and keeping your smile happy. However, even our body’s hardest tissue is susceptible to becoming weak, worn down, and even broken. Keeping our teeth in top condition is important to ensure optimal oral health and reduce dental hygiene issues from developing. You may be wondering why you have to be very careful and cautious with teeth if they’re supposedly stronger than bone?

Slipacoff Dental has the answers you’re looking for! Here’s our guide to understanding how tooth enamel becomes worn down and how to prevent it!

Reasons Tooth Enamel Becomes Worn Down

Health conditions, habits, and injuries can cause the tooth enamel to become worn, chipped, or cracked. Here are some of the most common ways this occurs:

Grinding and Clenching Teeth

Although teeth are meant to bite and chew through many substances, excessive friction will cause the enamel to become worn or fractured. Grinding teeth is extremely common, especially occurring when you’re asleep. If you notice yourself grinding or clenching, stop it by placing your tongue between your teeth. If you do not grind or clench during the day, but wake up with an aching jaw, you are most likely grinding your teeth at night. If this is the case, our dentist may recommend a mouth guard to keep your teeth from grinding as you sleep.

Acid and Tooth Enamel Erosion

Acids eat away at many surface materials, including tooth enamel. Some of the ways acid gets exposed to the enamel are by:

  • Acidic Food and Drinks: Foods that have a lot of citruses can wear down the enamel. Lemonades, energy drinks and pops are among the most harmful beverages for your teeth’s enamel.
  • Sugars: Sugars are digested by bad bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to plaque build-up and cavities to form.
  • Acid Reflux: Acid in the esophagus and mouth can lead to tooth enamel erosion.
  • Frequent Vomiting: Frequent vomiting is a symptom of a variety of conditions that can ultimately expose the teeth enamel to the acid in the esophagus far too often.

How To Prevent Acid Wear

Discuss any grinding, clenching, and diet issues you may be having that could be impacting your tooth enamel with our dental professionals. Here’s how you can prevent tooth enamel erosion at home:

  • Avoid acidic and sugary beverages and when you do have them, rinse off with water and have a piece of sugar-free gum to increase saliva flow.
  • Ensure you’re brushing teeth twice daily and using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash.

If you’re worried about grinding or clenching, relieve those anxieties and schedule an appointment at Slipacoff Dental. We offer custom-fitted mouthguards to allow our patients to be comfortable and keep their teeth protected. For any patients that have suffered severe tooth enamel erosion, dental implants in Sarnia may be the most effective solution for you to restore your smile. Call us for a consultation and we’ll be happy to fit you in https://sarniadentistry.com/contact-us/!