The erosion of tooth enamel happens every day to people of all ages. It can cause serious oral health complications if not dealt with swiftly, as the acids wear away the protective layer of your teeth. Unfortunately, tooth enamel erosion can cause not only pain but also visible signs of damage. Find out more about the symptoms and causes of enamel erosion, as well as steps you can take to avoid it or reverse its development at the early stages.
What is enamel erosion?
Tooth enamel erosion is a process which happens when high levels of acid lead to tooth enamel loss. Enamel is the hard, protective layer of the tooth. If the enamel becomes eroded, exposing the dentine beneath, it could lead to pain and sensitivity and other complications.
What causes enamel loss?
The causes of enamel erosion can be put down to a variety of reasons, but one of the most common ones is your diet. Each time you eat or drink something acidic, your tooth enamel becomes softer than usual as it loses some of its mineral content. Although your saliva slowly cancels out this process, returning your mouth to its normal balance, if it happens too often, your enamel cannot repair itself.
Other causes include teeth grinding, regular use of certain medications, and eating disorders such as bulimia, in which your teeth are exposed to stomach acid¹.
5 symptoms of the erosion of tooth enamel:
There are a number of enamel erosion symptoms which you should keep an eye out for, and immediately seek advice from your dentist if you notice any of them affecting your teeth.
- Sensitivity: In particular when your teeth come into contact with hot, cold, or sour foods and drinks.
- Discolouration: As enamel, the white to off-white protective layer comes away, it may leave your teeth yellowing as the dentine beneath becomes exposed.
- Damage: Cracks or chips are more likely as your teeth are becoming more vulnerable to outside factors.
- Transparency: Your teeth are losing their natural white colour, instead appearing dull and transparent.
- Tooth pain: Severe pain in your jaw, gums, or face around your mouth.
How can you prevent tooth enamel erosion?
Once your teeth enamel is eroded, it is not possible to bring it back, and so it is essential that you protect your teeth from enamel erosion. You should speak to your dentist about ways in which you can protect your teeth, but here are some tips to prevent tooth enamel erosion:
- Avoid highly acidic or sugary food and drink: Highly acidic food and drink will erode your enamel over time and so cutting down or avoiding consuming these items will prevent the erosion of tooth enamel¹.
- Use a straw when consuming acidic drinks: If you don’t want to cut out drinks like coffee and wine, instead consume them with a straw to avoid the liquid having direct contact with your teeth¹.
- Drink water throughout the day: Drinking water throughout the day helps to dilute the acids produced by bacteria in your mouth, helping to prevent tooth decay.
- Maintain good oral hygiene: Using a toothpaste that encourages strong enamel will help to maintain the structure of your teeth. Make sure you brush gently in circular motions to avoid unnecessary friction on your teeth.
- Wait at least 60 minutes after eating or drinking before brushing your teeth, to protect your enamel1.
Is there a cure for enamel erosion?
Enamel is designed to be tough as it is there to protect the nerves and pulp in your teeth. However, once the enamel is damaged, it cannot be repaired, meaning enamel erosion isn’t reversible.
However, partially weakened enamel can be restored to a certain extent by improving its mineral content. Using a toothpaste designed to help restore your enamel’s mineral content is a great way to help improve the structure of your teeth after mild enamel erosion. Regenerate Enamel Science™ is the first system able to regenerate enamel mineral* with the same mineral that tooth enamel is made of. Incorporating Regenerate Advanced Toothpaste into your daily oral care routine will help lessen the effects of enamel erosion.
Additionally, enamel erosion is a process that happens over a long period of time, and so if you only have minor enamel erosion, there are steps you can take to prevent it from becoming worse, as listed above.
How to repair tooth enamel erosion
Tooth enamel loss is permanent, and enamel repair does not come about naturally. If you are in the early stages of enamel erosion, it can be very beneficial to introduce oral care products that protect and strengthen tooth enamel. REGENERATE Enamel Science™ is the first system able to regenerate enamel mineral* with exactly the same mineral that tooth enamel is made of. It acts on early, invisible stages of enamel erosion by restoring its mineral content and micro-hardness with regular use, supporting your saliva to do its natural job.
For additional enamel repair and protection, you could also incorporate Regenerate’s Advanced Enamel Serum into your beauty regime. This monthly serum is a unique addition to your oral care routine and is clinically proven to boost the effects of your Regenerate Advanced Toothpaste by up to 43%**. The Advanced Toothpaste in combination with the Advanced Enamel Serum provides significant increase in enamel hardness, with 82%*** recovery of enamel hardness after 3 days.
It’s also worth considering making a few lifestyle changes which can help you avoid tooth enamel loss:
- Reduce the amount of fizzy and acidic drinks that you consume.
- Rinse your mouth out with water after eating acidic foods.
- Brush your teeth gently, using circular motions rather than brushing from side to side.
- Wait for at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking before brushing your teeth, in order to protect your enamel.
Consider speaking to your dentist about the best course of action. Although lifestyle changes and innovative products like Regenerate will help, sometimes tooth enamel loss can leave permanent, irreparable damage to your smile.
Here we have shared with you the causes of tooth enamel erosion, the symptoms, and of course tips and products to help you learn how to treat tooth enamel erosion. Now you can be sure to take steps to add good oral hygiene to your daily beauty steps, and ensure your teeth are strong and healthy.
*Acts on early invisible stages of enamel erosion by restoring its mineral content and micro-hardness with regular use. Clinically proven.
**As demonstrated in a 3-day in vitro test measuring enamel micro hardness: Combined use of Advanced toothpaste and Advanced serum vs. Advanced toothpaste only.
***Based on an in-vitro test measuring enamel hardness after 3 days combined use of Toothpaste and Serum.
The advice in this article does not constitute medical advice; it is solely available for information purposes. We recommend that you consult your dentist If you are experiencing any dental problems.