What is dental enamel?
The outermost layer of the tooth covering the dentin is called enamel. It is an extremely hard but brittle translucent mineral tissue which can suffer chemical damage. As the enamel protects all other tooth tissue particular attention should be given to its state and situations that can damage it should be avoided.
The most common causes of enamel damage are bruxism, or tooth grinding, and consumption of acidic or sugary foods and drinks. To these certain digestive issues can be added, just as problems with saliva production and certain medicines. Small damages to the enamel which do not penetrate to the dentine are not cause for panic, but progressive enamel erosion will lead to dentine exposure and necessitates medical care.
Among the first symptoms of enamel erosion is dental sensitivity, followed by chromatic and shape change, as well as the loss of tooth solidity, which on the long run can lead to fracture. Before this happens and in case your dentist noticed some of the symptoms, avoiding certain habits which can aggravate the situation is advisable, just as are regular checkups. One of the solutions to enamel erosion is to cover the tooth with a composite material similar to that of fillings, while more advanced cases can be overcome with the application of a dental crown.
But, as erosion usually occurs on all teeth and is often connected to bad habits, perhaps prevention is a better way to go than cure.