Enamel Regeneration: The Ultimate Guide
Welcome to your guide on enamel regeneration. As we all know, maintaining good oral care is an essential part of our health routine. This guide has been created specifically to explore the tooth enamel and it will be covering the following topics:
-What is tooth enamel?
-What causes enamel erosion?
-Can enamel be restored or repaired?
-What products do we recommend for enamel regeneration?
What is tooth enamel?
So, what exactly is tooth enamel? Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, the visible outermost covering of the teeth. It is made up of around 90% mineral, making it stronger than bone. Still, this enamel can become vulnerable and break down when exposed to a high level of sugary or acidic foods and drinks. This process is referred to as acid erosion. Acid erosion is the loss of tooth enamel caused by an acid attack. This is one of the causes of enamel erosion, more causes will be explored in further detail below.
What causes enamel erosion?
As briefly covered, enamel erosion occurs when acids in the mouth wear away the outer layer of the teeth. The saliva naturally works to neutralise any harmful acids in the mouth, but dry mouth or specific diets, oral hygiene habits and medical conditions can make it difficult for saliva to function as effectively as it should. Some of the most common causes of enamel erosion are:
-A diet high in sugary foods (such as sweets or fruit juice), Starchy foods (such as bread or potatoes) and acidic foods (such as fizzy drinks or citrus fruits).
-Acid reflux disease or heartburn can also bring up stomach acid into the mouth, created a more acidic environment.
-Dry mouth or low saliva flow can also potentially lead to loss of enamel as there is not enough saliva flow to help wash away bacteria and control acidic levels in the mouth.
-Genetics, inherited disease, and some medication can also cause fluctuations to acid and saliva levels in the mouth, also leading to enamel erosion.
Usually, acid erosion can be recognised due to an increase in sensitivity and the wearing away of the tooth surface. Tooth sensitivity arises as a result of the tooth nerve cells becoming exposed to chemical or thermal stimuli through open tubules running from the surface of the tooth through to the dentine (the main internal supporting structure of the tooth).
Can enamel be restored or repaired?
Tooth enamel loses minerals, weakens, and erodes in stages. Once the enamel is gone, the lost portion cannot be retrieved as the body cannot create new enamel. However, the remaining or existing enamel can be strengthened and repaired through remineralisation. This process can naturally occur when the enamel is exposed to essential minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate reunite. To assist this remineralisation process, it is recommended to:
-Brush the teeth with a toothpaste high in fluoride twice daily
-Perform interdental care daily to get rid of acidic bacteria and food debris from in between the teeth
-Avoid a diet high in sugary, starchy, and acidic foods
-Drink plenty of water and chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production to keep the mouth refreshed
-Visit a dental professional for a routine check-up and for a fluoride varnish treatment
When enamel is under consistent erosion, it loses its minerals and is eventually destroyed. This leaves the dentine exposed and unprotected, which is what results in major sensitivity. At this stage, treatments will not be able to restore the enamel and a dental professional will need to be seen for alternative solutions. By adjusting your diet and installing a proper oral hygiene routine, enamel loss can be prevented and or slowly repaired.
What products do we recommend for enamel regeneration?
To aid enamel regeneration, it is important to use the right products as a part of our oral care routine. With the right care and products, you can ensure your smile stays both strong and healthy.
To help you with this, we have chosen and linked our top products for enamel repair where you can find out more about each treatment.