Novato Dentist Shares Information About Maintaining Dental Enamel

Written by Dr. McConnell on Oct 4, 2022

When it comes to maintaining oral health, one of the absolute best things that you can do for your smile is to take care of your dental enamel. Enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth—it protects more sensitive dental layers like dentin and dental pulp.

Today our Novato dentists are sharing some helpful information to empower you to take control of your oral health, starting now!

A number of different issues can thin and weaken enamel:

  • Sugary treats: sugars and refined carbohydrates help harmful oral bacteria thrive, thus producing oral acid.
  • Acidic foods and drinks: any time that you sip or snack on something acidic, you temporarily weaken your enamel. Soft drinks, coffee, fruit juices, and wines are just a few examples of popular acidic treats.
  • Hard and abrasive substances: while your dental enamel is strong, it isn’t indestructible. Frequently chewing on hard candies, ice, and cough drops can diminish your enamel over time. 
  • Bruxism: this condition, which is characterized by dental grinding or clenching, essentially harms your enamel through tooth-to-tooth contact. Bruxism can occur temporarily, in times of stress, or it can be chronic issue.

As your dental enamel is diminished you may notice:

  • Dull or yellow teeth: dentin, which is the tooth layer below dental enamel, is naturally yellower in color than enamel. So, as your enamel becomes thinner, more of the yellow dentin will show through the surface of the tooth.
  • Increased dental sensitivity: because it is the protective tooth layer, dental enamel doesn’t contain nerves. However, as enamel becomes more porous, irritants are able to reach the more sensitive dentin and dental pulp layers.
  • More cavities: diminished dental enamel allows oral bacteria to take root in the tooth, leading to dental cavities. Vulnerable spots in your enamel essentially serve as pathways for oral bacteria to take root in your tooth’s dentin and dental pulp.

Have questions? Ready to schedule a personal consultation? Our Novato dentists are here to help! Give us a call to get started.