The single hardest tissue in the human body is the hard outer shell covering the teeth, known as enamel. This shell covers the crowns of the teeth that are visible beyond the gums.
Enamel is translucent and needs regular polishing and maintenance to keep your teeth healthy and clean looking. The shell protects your teeth from its daily grinding, chewing and other wear. Its job is to protect the tooth from almost all forms of damage that could affect it during regular daily activities of eating and chewing. Enamel also helps to protect teeth from chemicals and high or low temperatures.
Although this is the hardest material in our body, it’s not indestructible. Far from it, enamel is actually susceptible to erosion for a variety of reasons.
One of the main causes of enamel erosion is the consumption of large quantities of soft drinks on a regular basis. Soft drinks usually contain massive amounts of citric acid and phosphoric acid which act to slowly but surely erode the enamel off your teeth. The process is gradual and could well depend on the frequency of consumption of such drinks.
Similarly fruit drinks are known to cause enamel erosion, although the cause is slightly different in this case. Fruit juices are somewhat healthier than regular soft drinks, but there are a number of acids present in them. Some could even be more corrosive than battery acid. This is what melts away the enamel.
Xerostomia or dry mouth syndrome could also cause the enamel on teeth to erode. The syndrome causes the mouth to go excessively dry as saliva is reduced. This creates ideal conditions for the tooth decay process to vastly accelerate.
Another leading cause of enamel erosion is dietary factors. Diets that are high in sugars and starches cause the tooth enamel to erode substantially.
Other causes of this condition include gastrointestinal problems. Acid reflux or GERD cause this condition in the teeth too and must be carefully managed. Often the cause for enamel erosion is environmental or genetic. Wear and friction or genetic factors may play a role in the process of deteriorating the outer protective shell off your teeth.
Besides these there are certain chemical compounds present in regular medications such as antihistamines and aspirin. If you use these medications frequently, they may be damaging your teeth to a great degree.
Damaging your enamel or dentine underneath the shell could be detrimental to your oral health. Make sure you visit your dentists regularly to help detect this situation early and help prevent it from going any further.
Now enamel can be restored onto the teeth by a simple filing the dentist could apply. In more severe cases the best treatment could be the application of a veneer onto the teeth to help protect it.
As always however, prevention is better than a cure so you must pay careful attention to both your diet and dental hygiene. Avoid sugary fruit juices or fizzy drinks and brush twice a day to keep your teeth clean.