Enamel Cruelty: Are You ‘Wearing Away’ Your Tooth?

It’s one of those science lessons you, for sure, still remember: tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body. It’s stronger than the bone. Its surface is 96% mineral, making it durable. What’s not to known about this protective layer, however, is that it’s not immune and resistant to pressure. In fact, you could be wearing away your tooth without you knowing, particularly with simple habits that you do every day. As a result, your teeth may not be as strong as it should be, making it vulnerable to cavities and other dental problems. That said, be watchful of these types of tooth wear so you can avoid them:

Attrition

This pertains to improper tooth-to-tooth contact, which is the case in teeth grinding or bruxism. Habitual clenching adds unnecessary tension in the teeth, so it results in the gradual wearing away of the protective layer. The trouble with bruxism is that many people are unaware that they do it, precisely because it often happens during sleep.

If you experience headaches, facial pain, or stiffness in the jaw muscles, especially in the morning, then that could signal a nighttime clenching habit. Your dentist will prescribe a mouth guard to address it. They may also recommend fixing up teeth alignment, as malocclusion can also be a reason for bruxism. Don’t worry, as this doesn’t necessarily mean unsightly metals on your mouth. There are clear braces that Taylorsville dentists recommend, for instance.

Abrasion

Dentist cleaning child's teeth

In this type of tooth wear, what’s involved is an external object, like the aggressive use of a toothbrush. When you habitually brush your teeth too hard or use a hard-bristled tool, this can result in stripping away the enamel and rendering it weaker over time. The same result happens when you use your teeth to bite on hard objects, such as opening bottles, chipping off nails, or holding pins. As much as possible, avoid these habits.

When cleaning your teeth, remember that you don’t have to rub aggressively on the surface just to remove plaque or food debris. These are soft, so you can easily get rid of them with a gentle swipe or two. Don’t be in a hurry when brushing. Loosen your grip on the tool. Sing two rounds of happy birthday. This will avoid aggressive cleaning.

Erosion

This happens when your enamel wears down due to chemicals. What chemicals? For one, the acids in your carbonated drinks and fruit juices. The problem goes worse when you brush your teeth immediately after consuming them. The rubbing of the teeth surface makes the enamel weaker, as it’s already at a vulnerable state. The chemicals can also come from medical conditions, like acid reflux or bulimia.

That’s why in treating these conditions, oral health is also a huge consideration. Certain medications, like aspirin and vitamin C tablets, may also contribute to erosion. Ask your doctor how you can protect your teeth better when taking these meds.

Your enamel may be the strongest substance in the body, but it’s no match to poor dental habits. Rethink your routines, from overbrushing and teeth clenching to soda drinking. It might be time to hit pause on those habits