Elmhurst Dentist Reviews Properties of Dental Enamel

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Aug 2, 2015

If you are doing everything that you can do in order to maintain your smile, then you are probably taking great pains to care for your dental enamel. Our Elmhurst dentists help all of our patients preserve healthy dental enamel with top-notch preventive and restorative dentistry.

Here are some important things for you to know about dental enamel—a very important part of your tooth.

1. Enamel is your tooth’s defense layer. Enamel covers the entirety of the outside of your tooth. So all of the food and drinks that you consume come into contact with dental enamel.

Dental enamel is very non-porous, so it is difficult for foreign substances (including bacteria) to penetrate through. The other layers of your tooth—which sit below the enamel—are more porous, and thus more prone to infection.

2. Enamel has many enemies! Many common substances and dental habits can weaken enamel, and make it more susceptible to damage and infection. Here are some key examples:

· Oral bacteria infects and wears away enamel

· Sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods feed oral bacteria

· Acidic substances thin dental enamel

· Habitual grinding and clenching of your teeth will thin enamel over time

· Using metal instruments to clean—or pick food from—your teeth can lead to micro-cracks in your enamel. These cracks can intensify over time.

3. Some level of enamel discoloration is normal. As we age our teeth are prone to getting a little darker—thanks to external staining substances. Many common foods and drinks—red wine, chocolate, berries, etc.—will leave color deposits on your enamel. But don’t worry—there are many cosmetic treatments that can restore your smile’s whiteness.

If you have more questions about dental enamel, our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you. Please call our office to get more information and to schedule a personal consultation.