The enamel makes up the outer layer of your teeth and protects them from all kinds of physical and chemical damage. After all, it’s quite capable of doing this since it’s the hardest mineral substance in the human body. That makes tooth enamel extremely important in oral health, so having damaged tooth enamel can be an issue.
However, there are ways to restore eroded enamel and prevent further erosion, which we will discuss today. If you’re also struggling with damaged tooth enamel, you can check this website and schedule an appointment at Christopher Gall DDS in Griffith, IN. Now, let’s discuss damaged tooth enamel and how you can treat it.
Symptoms of Enamel Damage
Many different symptoms can signal enamel erosion, and they often vary. Some of the most common ones include:
- Heightened sensitivity to temperature, taste, and texture
- Chips and cracks
- Indentations on the surface of your teeth
Additional symptoms that point toward more significant enamel erosion include the following:
- Increased sensitivity when exposed to hot, cold, acidic, and spicy foods and beverages
- Discoloration present in your teeth
Lastly, if you leave your enamel erosion untreated, the symptoms can get worse over time and result in the following complications:
- Stained, yellow teeth
- Overly sensitive teeth
- Shiny spots present on your teeth
- Rough edges on your teeth
- Increased tooth decay
- Enamel that is gradually wearing off toward clear, almost translucent-looking teeth
- Fractured or broken teeth
Causes of Damaged Tooth Enamel
Various things can lead to tooth enamel erosion. It’s typically the acids found in various foods and beverages that can wear it down over time. And, while saliva serves as a neutralizer of acid inside of your mouth, consuming too many acidic drinks and foods and avoiding taking proper care of your teeth will lead to the outer enamel layer weakening and degrading as time goes by. Now, certain foods are known culprits when it comes to enamel erosion, and those include:
- Sugary foods (ice creams, syrups, etc.)
- Starchy foods (white bread, potatoes, etc.)
- Acidic foods (apples, berries, citrus fruits, etc.)
- Fruit juices and drinks
- Excess amounts of vitamin C
There are also factors other than foods and beverages that can lead to enamel erosion, in particular:
- Bruxism or teeth grinding
- Chronic acid reflux
- Low salivary flow
- Regular usage of certain medications such as aspirin and antihistamines
- Eating disorders such as bulimia
- Genetic disorders that affect tooth development
Can You Restore Tooth Enamel Naturally?
While damaged tooth enamel needs professional intervention, weakened tooth enamel can be successfully restored through a series of correct habits. So, if the reason your tooth enamel is damaged is due to dental erosion, you can try incorporating some of these habits into your routine:
- Reduce your intake of acidic foods and beverages
- Reduce your intake of carbonated drinks and fruit juices
- Avoid brushing your teeth right after you’ve eaten
- Rinse your mouth with water after you’ve consumed sugary or acidic foods or beverages
- Chew sugar-free gum
- Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste
- Make sure to stay hydrated
Tooth Enamel Restoration Options
Based on your dentist’s recommendations and assessment, they can point you toward different treatment options. Their advice on the type of restorative treatment will also largely depend on how severe your specific case is. In this part of the article, we will discuss different dental reconstruction options that can provide teeth restoration, both functionally and aesthetic-wise.
Dental fillings fit into the category of metal-free restorations, just like dental crowns and bridges, although there are, in fact, fillings that do contain metal. They’re used to fill in cavities that were caused due to dental decay.
The whole process will start with the dentist cleaning out your tooth decay. Afterward, they’ll fill the cavity with materials such as composite resin or silver amalgam. Depending on the placement of the tooth, your doctor may recommend a tooth-colored material to fill the cavity.
Additionally, the options for the fillings include composite resin (white fillings), glass ionomer, and resin-modified glass ionomer.
Dental crowns are another restorative treatment where a cap is placed on the surface of the whole tooth. They can be used as a way to protect cracked and weakened teeth and prevent further damage from occurring. Your dentist will take an impression of your tooth and send it to the lab. And, as you wait for your crown to be made, you will get a temporary one placed over your tooth to keep it safe.
Dental implants serve as artificial roots that hold your replacement teeth in place. There are two noteworthy types of dental implants, endosteal and subperiosteal ones. The difference lies in the fact that with endosteal implants, an artificial root is drilled into your jawbone. With subperiosteal implants, on the other hand, the root is placed on the jawbone or above it. The latter type is usually reserved for cases where there isn’t enough healthy jawbone for the first method.
Dental implants are a fantastic way to restore both the functionality and the aesthetics of your teeth and can last you for up to a few decades.
This procedure is the golden child of cosmetic dentistry. Essentially, veneers are tooth-colored and natural-looking and can drastically improve the appearance of damaged teeth and can even make them look better than originally.
Veneers are usually made out of either porcelain or composite resin. Additionally, there are two types of procedures for veneers: traditional and no prep. Traditional ones include extensive prep work, such as grinding the enamel and structure of your natural tooth, while the no-prep version is much simpler and doesn’t require the same amount of preparation.
Bonding perfects the appearance of a damaged tooth. For this procedure, your dentist will have composite resin applied to your tooth. Afterward, the resin will be molded and shaped and then hardened under UV light. This procedure, however, isn’t as reliable as the other ones and usually requires additional restoration work.
Other Restorative Procedures
If more than one tooth is missing, your dentist will usually suggest either a dental bridge, partial dentures, or complete ones. Dental bridges are used to replace several missing teeth, and the bridge is usually held in place by the surrounding healthy teeth. Partial dentures can play out a role similar to a dental bridge, while complete dentures are reserved for patients who have lost all their teeth.