When Lauren came in to our O’Fallon cosmetic dental office, she reported that she was starting to notice changes in her dental enamel. Where her enamel used to be white and luminous, it was becoming increasingly dull and flat looking. She also experienced some sensitivity to hot and cold substances and whitening products.
Lauren’s enamel was beginning to thin due to a number of common dental conditions. We walked her through common threats to her dental health, so that she would understand how she could take steps to strengthen her enamel.
For most of us, our young teeth are white and luminous with strong and thick dental enamel. Over time, however, enamel begins to thin. Why does this happen?
As your teeth touch and grind against each other, your enamel can wear down. Anytime you eat your teeth obviously come into contact with each other, but the bigger cause of tooth-to-tooth contact is a condition called bruxism. Patients with this condition grind and clench their teeth in their sleeps. If you notice signs of bruxism—like a sore jaw or chronic headaches—seek treatment from your dentist right away.
Natural Oral Acids
Throughout the day your mouth produces oral acids as bacteria metabolize acids and carbohydrates. In order to protect your teeth from these oral acids, you need to brush and floss your teeth regularly. You can also rinse your teeth with water after eating to inhibit acid production. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, talk your dentist about using a toothpaste formulated to help sensitive teeth fortify enamel.
Using metal dental tools or a toothbrush that’s too firm can weaken your dental enamel and irritation your gum tissue. Talk to your dentist about what kind of toothbrush, specifically, is right for you.
Lauren started using a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth and she switched to a gentler toothbrush. She started coming in for regular appointments with our O’Fallon dental office so that we could monitor the state of her enamel. Her dental sensitivity was lessened and, using professional teeth whitening treatments, she was able to refresh the appearance of her smile without irritation.