Throughout history, empires have built massive armies mainly to protect the crown of the ruling aristocracy, presidency or other form of leadership. And the people who have filled the ranks of the warrior class have always stood on the outside of royalty as a wall of defense. The same applies to your teeth. Your enamel serves as the troops of your mouth, bearing the brunt of constant attacks, protecting your crowns and the sacred space hidden deep within that houses your nerves and canals. Learn from your dentist what happens when this wall of protection is violated, and ways to repair and protect it.
What is the Enamel?
As touched on already, the enamel of your teeth forms the outer layer of the crowns, the parts of your teeth that are visible above your gums. It endures an onslaught of digestive acids, sugars and sneaky bacteria that constantly look to find a weakness in its armor. If your enamel is damaged, it will spell havoc for the whole tooth and eventually the rest of the body, if the decay is not stopped.
How is Enamel Damaged?
Enamel is damaged by constant attacks from bacteria, which feed on the foods you eat, especially sugars. As they munch on the leftover particles in your mouth, they grow and extend their acidic tentacles into your enamel. If not thwarted, they will eventually wear down its defenses and begin to move their garrisons deeper into your teeth.
The initial penetration causes little holes called cavities. These are the first signs of a chink in the armor of your enamel. If not addressed by being filled or sealed, the bacteria troops will continue moving to the dentin, causing increased tooth sensitivity.
The final stop in completely sacking the tooth is the inner area, where the crown jewels are held – the nerves. Once this area is violated, you can expect dental pain and health problems to escalate.
What Happens After Enamel is Damaged?
Unfortunately, once a soldier is lost in battle, there is no bringing him or her back. The same applies to your enamel. Once damaged, it can’t be restored; it can only be repaired using a compound to rebuild it or a fabricated crown to replace it. Your local dentist will determine the best course of action depending on your specific situation.
How to Prevent Enamel Loss
Every general looks to save as many troops as possible, so to prevent enamel loss, there are two pillars to uphold – oral hygiene and semi-annual dental visits:
- Oral Hygiene – This involves your daily practices of cleaning your mouth, teeth, tongue and gums. The main ways are brushing, flossing and tongue scraping, which remove the harmful bacteria that seek to destroy your enamel. These activities should be done at least twice a day.
- Semi-Annual Visits – The other pillar of your oral health is your semi-annual visit to your dentist for cleaning and examination. This will afford you a thorough cleaning and allow your oral professional to eliminate any encroaching bacteria attacks.
Take this opportunity and reach out to your dentist to schedule an appointment so that your mighty enamel and oral structure will be healthy and strong for years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Tom Pastor received his undergraduate degree from the University of New England and then went on to earn his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. He practices at Tyngtown Dental and can be reached for more information through his website.
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