What Causes Enamel Loss on Teeth?
Without enamel, your teeth would be worn down significantly. Every time you talk, chew, or bite, you're causing stress on your teeth. The enamel of your tooth is responsible for protecting your teeth and preventing normal wear-and-tear for as long as possible. Yet, over time, you may notice that your enamel is starting to disappear. Some of this natural. Yet there are a few causes that may make your enamel disappear faster than it should be. Here's what you need to know about enamel loss.
The Purpose of Enamel
In order to understand how enamel is lost, it's important to know what enamel does exactly for your teeth. The enamel of your teeth is actually the strongest part of your body. It coats the crown of your teeth and helps ensure you don't wear down your teeth through daily use.
Besides physical protection, it also provides protection against severe temperatures and chemicals. Without enamel, your teeth may be exposed to these harsh environments. It's something you'll certainly feel.
The Primary Cause Behind Enamel Loss
One of the biggest reasons that you're losing enamel is due to acid. There are several different types of acid and each can wear away the enamel over time. Enamel also chips and can be chewed away through daily use.
Acid, on the other hand, can be introduced to your enamel in a variety of different ways.
Food and Drink-Based Acids
Perhaps the biggest culprit is the food and beverages you drink. Soft drinks like Coca Cola and other pops are a big problem. They carry a lot of citric acid and harsh chemicals. Each time you take a drink of pop or soda, you're washing your teeth in harsh acid and chemicals.
If you over-consume pop, then you can be sure your enamel is going to be stripped away quickly.
Even some fruit drinks can be problematic. Certain kinds of fruit drinks have more erosive acid in it than batteries. If you regularly drink those kinds of drinks, then your erosion loss will be phenomenal.
Certain foods can cause enamel loss as well. In particular, foods that are high in sugar or starch can cause a lot of acid build-up. They also tend to cake on to your teeth. Without brushing them off immediately, the food debris can cause plaque to form. This makes it difficult for enamel to do its job.
Whether you suffer from acid-reflux naturally or it occurs after eating certain kinds of foods or drinks, you may also be causing yourself enamel loss. Acid reflux, in particular, causes acid to be present in your throat. Sometimes it can reach your teeth and coat them in acid. The best way to avoid enamel loss from acid reflux is to avoid the diet that causes it in the first place.
Sometimes, you may also just inherit a condition that causes something like dry mouth. If you have a low salivary flow, then that might also cause you to have enamel loss. Without regular saliva, your enamel is not being regularly cleaned off. The acid remains attached to the teeth and continues to wear the enamel away.
Another big cause of enamel loss is just the environment. If you tend to grind your teeth at night or when you're stressed, then you're wearing down your enamel. This also includes the normal wear-and-tear of daily use.
Unfortunately, certain medications may also cause enamel loss. The reason is either due to calcium loss or bone loss as a side-effect of the medication or because it increases the acidity of your mouth. Some medications may even cause acid reflux. Certain medications like aspirin or antihistamines have been shown to especially cause enamel loss.
Protect Your Teeth
Clearly, there are plenty of causes behind enamel loss. Luckily, there are a few variables that you can control. Eating foods that don't contain a lot of sugar, starch, or acid is a great first step. Slowly moving away from fruit drinks and soda is another great option. Finally, those who tend to grind their teeth may benefit from using a mouthguard while they sleep. By protecting your enamel, you can keep your teeth healthy.