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Tooth enamel is one of the four primary tissues that make up the human tooth. Tooth enamel is a hard substance that is found in the outer shell of each tooth. Enamel is considered the hardest substance in the body. In fact, about 1 to 2 percent of enamel is made up of organic materials, in particular, enamelins, which are enamel-specific proteins.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the resilient surface is 96 percent mineral, the highest percentage of any tissue present in the human body. Tooth enamel is even stronger than our bones. But that doesn’t mean it’s invincible. Tooth enamel can decay or breakdown when bacteria breaks down the sugars in foods creating an acid, or hole.
Enamel plays an extremely crucial role when it comes to protecting the teeth from decay and damage. Enamel creates a strong barrier safeguarding the teeth’s inner layers from the impact of plaque and acids.
The nerves in your teeth are sensitive to temperature, meaning foods that are hot or cold can cause tooth pain. The enamel works to insulate the rest of the tooth to eliminate or limit the amount of discomfort you feel when eating or drinking something hot or cold.
Although tooth enamel is a hard, protective surface, it can still crack or chip pretty easily. When enamel chips or breaks, it won’t be able to adequately protect your teeth. You may become aware of your enamel problem if you start to feel pain while eating, especially if you are eating something particularly sugary, hot, or cold. Here are some common signs of damaged tooth enamel:
Tooth erosion is caused by acid from the food and drinks we consume, wearing away the teeth’s enamel. Enamel erosion is identified by a smoother, yellower appearance because of the loss of enamel minerals. It also often shows cupping or indentations in the chewing surface where enamel is worn away.
Enamel damage and erosion are caused by the following:
Once your tooth enamel is destroyed, your body will not make more of it to replace it. But, the good news is that dental procedures can help restore your teeth to function properly.
The first technique a dentist can help restore tooth enamel with is called tooth bonding. Bonding is a procedure where a tooth-colored material called resin is put on the damaged tooth. The resin covers up any discolorations caused by the damaged enamel and will protect your tooth from further damage.
Another way to restore tooth enamel is by a veneer or crown. A dentist may add this to your damaged tooth to prevent future decay.
There are a few ways to strengthen your tooth enamel naturally, including:
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