As enamel erodes and more dentin is exposed, teeth may appear yellow. The edges of the teeth become rougher, more irregular, and jagged as the enamel erodes. The smooth, shiny surfaces of the teeth are a sign of mineral loss. Worn or missing enamel makes teeth more susceptible to tooth decay and decay.
Small cavities aren't a problem, but if left to grow and rot, they can cause infections, such as painful dental abscesses. Worn enamel also affects the appearance of the smile. The color of the enamel can range from grayish white to light yellow, but since it is semi-translucent, it is only partially responsible for the color of the teeth. While it's the hardest substance in the body, it can wear out over time.
Enamel erosion can occur for a wide variety of reasons, including teeth grinding, chronic acid reflux, low salivary flow, and regular use of certain medications. What you eat can also affect your enamel. For example, sugary and acidic foods can cause enamel erosion. Unlike a fractured bone that can heal on its own, enamel has no living cells, which means that once damage occurs, it's permanent.
Enamel is the hard outer layer that covers your teeth and protects them from sensitivity, cavities, and decay. But it can be worn away – a process called enamel erosion.
As enamel wears down, it can expose the softer dentin underneath. This can lead to yellow, discolored teeth.
1. You’ll notice that your teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold
When you drink hot or cold liquids, they can cause a numbing pain in your teeth. This is a common problem and can be a symptom of a number of different dental issues.
Sensitive teeth are a result of worn tooth enamel, which makes the nerve endings in your teeth more exposed. This can happen for a number of reasons, including erosion (wear and tear), gum recession and excessive grinding of the teeth (bruxism).
The biological reason behind sensitive teeth is that the tooth’s roots aren’t covered by hard enamel, so they contain thousands of tiny tubules leading to the center of your tooth’s pulp, which contains the nerves.
When a stimulus like hot or cold comes into contact with these channels, fluid in the tubules moves and triggers a pain sensation in your tooth’s nerve. This is usually a temporary problem and can be treated easily. However, if it continues, you’ll need to see your dentist to find out why it is happening.
2. You’ll notice that your teeth are more likely to chip or break
Your tooth enamel is the hardest, most mineralized tissue in your body. It helps to protect your teeth against daily wear and tear and is responsible for making your teeth translucent so you can see the dentin beneath them.
However, as enamel is worn away, it becomes more prone to chipping or breaking. This can be an early warning sign that something is wrong with your teeth and needs to be treated as soon as possible.
Enamel erosion is the most common reason people develop chips and cracks in their teeth. This happens when acids in your mouth start wearing away the protective layer of your teeth called enamel.
Once the damage is done, your teeth become more susceptible to hot and cold foods, drinks and other substances. You may also notice that your teeth are more sensitive to pain and temperature changes.
3. You’ll notice that your teeth are more likely to stain
When your tooth enamel is gone, the outer layer of your teeth – called your dentin – will become more vulnerable to staining. This is because your teeth have tiny pores on the surface, and food or drink can get into them.
The acid in foods or drinks can eat away at your enamel, or changes in temperature can make the pores larger. Certain chemicals, such as chromogens and tannins, can also penetrate the enamel to leave stains.
Some beverages can be particularly problematic for your teeth, such as tea and coffee. If you’re partial to these drinks, limiting your intake can reduce your risk of stained teeth.
Another culprit is wine. Red wine, which is darker in color, tends to stain your teeth more than white wines. This is because it contains more pigments, which are more likely to stain the enamel.
4. You’ll notice that your teeth are more likely to break
Enamel is the outer layer of the teeth, and it’s made up of a mineralized substance that’s semi-translucent. It’s designed to protect your teeth from daily use like chewing, biting and crunching as well as from temperatures and bacteria.
But enamel is also vulnerable to wear and tear. This happens when acids from plaque attack the minerals in your tooth’s enamel, causing tiny openings or holes in the enamel known as cavities.
And once the areas of enamel are worn away, the acid can enter the softer layer underneath, known as dentin. The softer dentin is less resistant to acid and has small tubes that directly communicate with the nerves in your tooth, causing sensitivity.
When you experience any of these symptoms, you’ll want to see your dentist right away for a checkup and cleaning. This will help intercept enamel erosion before it causes major issues, such as sensitivity and pain, cracks or rough spots on your teeth and a loss of tooth color.
Some tooth enamel loss occurs naturally with age, but you can help stop harmful tooth enamel loss by following a regular oral care routine that involves brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly. Before you start to worry about what to do with your worn and missing enamel, first determine if you have this problem. While calcium can be naturally repaired to some extent, the damage suffered over time can leave the tooth vulnerable to further enamel loss. Even if you already have some enamel erosion, you can prevent it from getting worse by practicing good oral hygiene.
You may want to consider joining your teeth if enamel erosion has caused discolorations in the front teeth. Over time, enamel can break, wear out, or even be lost due to dental trauma, dental procedures, or problems with the supporting tissues of the mouth. For more information about enamel erosion or to schedule an appointment, contact the dental professionals at Hancock Village Dental. The enamel is translucent so you can see the dentin underneath, which is what determines the color of your teeth.
This differs from the yellow spots that may appear on the surface of the tooth due to smoking and the consumption of certain foods and beverages. When a substantial amount of enamel wears away from the tooth, the yellowish layer of the dentin becomes more visible. If you have any signs of enamel loss, talk to a dentist in Clermont, FL about your concerns. The outer layer of teeth consists of enamel, a substance that protects against physical and chemical damage.
Although enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it can wear away and peel off, a process called enamel erosion.