As we age, changes occur in our body. There are many physical signs of aging that are easy to spot; our skin loses elasticity, wrinkles form, our hair thins out and loses colour. There are however, certain signs of aging that aren’t very obvious and one of them is changes with our teeth and the thinning of enamel.
Enamel is the mineral protecting our teeth. It is this lustrous layer found at the topmost part of our tooth. This is a protective coating that our teeth need as to help protect our teeth from being easily damaged. Due to our teeth being used daily, natural wear and tear will occur. Habits over a lifetime, good or bad will also begin to show their effects on our teeth. These habits also play a factor in the thinning of our tooth’s enamel.
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Here are some common causes that contribute to enamel thinning:
1. Drinking flavoured and carbonated beverages.
Did you know that flavored beverages such as soda and fruit juices cause our tooth’s enamel to thin out? That’s because carbonated drinks are high in phosphoric acid and fruit juices are heavy-laden with citric acid. These acids are erosive to the tooth’s enamel.
2. Eating food with lots of sugar and starch.
Foods high in sugar and starch can also cause teeth enamel thinning. That’s because they are also naturally acidic. The body converts them into acids, which will then lead to tooth deterioration. In addition to that, they help in the formation of bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to tooth decay.
3. Having a condition called GERD or Acid Reflux.
Acid reflux or GERD afflicts many people today. It’s a condition wherein the stomach spews out acids that the esophagus cannot stop. The acid regurgitates and climbs back into the mouth, which can then lead to the thinning of the teeth’s enamel.
4. Having a condition called Xerostomia.
Also known as dry mouth, this condition prevents the body from producing enough saliva to lubricate the mouth. Because of this, the tooth’s enamel is not getting enough moisture. When that happens, it becomes brittle and prone to damages over time. This is why it is always important to keep the mouth lubricated by gargling or drinking water.
5. Taking acidic medications.
Taking liquid medications high in Vitamin C or chewable can also be a cause for tooth enamel thinning.
Teeth grinding or chewing hard food such as nuts can also damage the enamel.
7. Having an eating disorder called Bulimia.
Bulimia is an eating disorder where the sufferer forces himself to regurgitate and vomit food. Vomit or bile has a high acidic content and when this gets into contact with teeth, erosion of the enamel ensues.
It is important to keep your teeth’s enamel strong and teeth healthy. This is your first line of defense against bacteria build up, which can lead to tooth decay. Having excellent oral hygiene and eating the right type of food can slow down the thinning of the enamel.
Regular visits to your dentist help immensely, especially if you have oral health issues such as dry mouth. Your Burnaby dentist can help find solutions to keep your teeth properly lubricated. Your dentist can also prescribe the right supplements needed to support the structure of the teeth. If you have any questions or concerns about enamel or your oral health, be sure to ask us at your next dental appointment.