What Causes Enamel to Deteriorate?

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Most dental issues can be traced back to one thing: the deterioration of enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth. We’ll take a look at what causes your enamel to weaken, and how you can help protect your smile!

 

Common Causes of Enamel Damage

1. Diet

Sugar is harmful for your teeth because bacteria and plaque feed upon your dietary sugar and produce acidic byproducts that destroy enamel. Acid in foods and beverages can also slowly strip away the minerals in your enamel. This means that a diet heavy in sugar, refined carbohydrates, starches, and acids (like from citrus fruits, alcoholic beverages, and soft drinks) can increase your risk of tooth decay. A balanced diet rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals can help strengthen and protect your enamel.

2. Injury & Friction

If you grind your teeth at night or if you have chipped or broken a tooth, you’ve damaged your enamel, which means that it’s easier for bacteria to access the more vulnerable inner layers of your teeth.

3. Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a condition where you do not produce enough saliva to properly coat the surface of your teeth. A healthy amount of saliva wicks away bacteria from your teeth, rinses away leftover food particles, and aids in remineralization. Without enough saliva, you have an increased risk of developing more plaque and bacteria, which means you are more likely to suffer from tooth decay.

4. Genetics

Your DNA or certain genetic disorders can make you more prone to thin enamel that is easily weakened and damaged.

5. Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a condition where acid and bile regularly flows up from your stomach into your esophagus, creating an uncomfortable burning sensation. Sometimes, this acid can reach your teeth and cause your enamel to gradually deteriorate.

How to Prevent Enamel Deterioration

Daily At-Home Preventive Oral Care

The best way to protect your enamel is to maintain proper oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, brush your tongue every day, and floss between your teeth and under your gumline to keep your teeth and gums clean and free of plaque. Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is another very important way to keep plaque and tartar at bay.

Routine Dental Visits

In conjunction with your at-home preventive oral care, twice yearly dental visits will ensure that your mouth is healthy, strong, and cavity-free. So make sure that you schedule your next visit soon! Here at Stratman Family Dentistry, it’s our top priority to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.