All About Enamel

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Did you know that tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your entire body? We use it every day without thinking whenever we bite or chew. But enamel, strong as it is, isn’t impervious to damage. Here is what you should know about tooth enamel.

Enamel is the thin outer layer of your teeth. It is actually translucent, so your teeth, much like your skin, get their color from their deeper layers. Enamel can still be stained, though. Beverages like coffee, tea, and wine are all known culprits, as are dark berries, beets, and cigarettes. Whitening treatments are generally effective on tooth enamel. If the inner layer of dentin becomes discolored, though, treatment may not work.

Notwithstanding its great strength, enamel can still become worn and damaged. A certain amount of wear is expected over a lifetime of chewing and biting, but conditions like a bad bite or teeth grinding can cause excessive wear.

Enamel can also be eroded by acid. Acid comes from two primary sources: the diet, and bacteria in the mouth. Acid from bacteria is particularly harmful because it can be trapped next to the tooth by built-up plaque. Over time, this erodes tooth enamel, causing cavities. If bacteria penetrate the protective enamel, the inner layers of the tooth can become infected.

Enamel can’t be replaced once it wears away, but what enamel there is can be strengthened. Decay can also be prevented by effective oral hygiene. To talk with Dr. Nidal Obeid about how best to protect your tooth enamel, please call Family Dental of Roscoe in Chicago, IL, today.