Oral Surgery Advice: What Is Enamel Erosion?
In a previous Lynn Dental Care blog, we looked at sensitive teeth and what some of the causes are. A few of these symptoms can lead to more serious complications that could result in needing oral surgery, one of which is enamel erosion.
But what is enamel erosion? And what kind of oral surgery might you need if you don’t take good enough care of your teeth to avoid it? Your Dallas dentist looks at your enamel in more detail, as well as what happens when it’s worn away, and how you can take better care of it.
What Is Tooth Enamel?
Your teeth have a thin coating on the exposed surface that we see in every smile. This layer protects the inside of each tooth, as well as insulate the sensitive insides from extreme temperatures. This is the enamel.
For as small an area that it covers, healthy tooth enamel is actually the hardest tissue in your entire body. Your enamel can take a lot of punishment because of the purpose it serves, but it’s also susceptible to damage from the amount of use it gets over time – especially if you have a diet high in acidic foods. Your enamel is also vulnerable to staining if you drink a lot of coffee, tea, soda or fruit juices, or you’re a smoker.
What Causes Erosion?
Most of the general advice you hear about taking care of your teeth relates to keeping your tooth enamel in good shape – avoiding the need for oral surgery or treatment because of pain through wear. Drinking a lot of soda or fruit juice, a diet high in starch and sugar, and certain medications can cause enamel erosion. While many of these factors are avoidable, there are some that are tougher to deal with.
If you frequently suffer from dry mouth or a lack of saliva, this can lead to enamel erosion. Severe acid reflux problems can also cause erosion by increasing the acidity of your saliva, which is also a problem with a variety of other gastrointestinal issues. Simple genetics can also play a factor. If thin or easily damaged tooth enamel is a common issue in your family, there won’t be much you can do other than to keep an eye on it.
How Can I Avoid Enamel Erosion?
If your teeth seem overall sensitive, notice significant discoloration, or can see markings or cracks and chips in your teeth, you likely have some form of enamel erosion. If it’s gotten to a point where it’s noticeable, then some kind of treatment or oral surgery will probably be necessary, but there are some things you can do to cut down on the risk of enamel erosion.
Improving your diet is the most obvious one – cutting out sugars and high-acidity foods. If you are drinking sodas or juice, drink with a straw to cut down on the contact with your teeth. If you find yourself snacking a lot, start chewing sugar-free gum. This can also help through increasing the amount of saliva in your mouth, especially if you typically have a lack of it, and some studies recently have suggested that chewing gum can help acid reflux.
If you can see obvious signs of erosion or you experience a persistent toothache, then it’s time to contact your Dallas dentist for help.
Avoid Oral Surgery from Erosion
If you want to avoid oral surgery as a result of enamel erosion, keeping your teeth clean and being conscious of your diet are two great ways to do it. However, sometimes oral surgery or intensive treatment is unavoidable, and in that case, you should contact Lynn Dental Care. We’re dedicated to your treatment being as comfortable as possible.