Our Elmhurst dentists have found that the more that our patients know about how their smiles are built, the better able they are to take steps to protect their oral health every day. That is why we take the time to educate our patients about dental health. In this short article, we’re going to be talking about an important part of your dental structure: the dental enamel. Keep reading to learn more.
Many people do not realize that teeth are actually comprised of a few different layers. Within the core of the tooth are blood vessels and nerves—this is called the dental pulp. The next layer is called dentin; dentin is less porous than dental pulp, and it appears as a yellowish color. The outermost covering of the tooth is called the dental enamel; this is the white and shiny tooth surface that you see when you look in the mirror.
Dental enamel is designed to protect the more vulnerable inner layers of the tooth. Healthy enamel is some shade of white (shades vary greatly) and luminous. Dental enamel does not have nerves, so it is not sensitive like the dental core.
Enamel is designed to be pretty nonporous and sturdy; however, it is by no means indestructible. A number of common oral health threats can weaken and thin enamel over time, including:
- Acidic substances
- Chronic dental grinding or clenching (bruxism)
- Dental trauma
- Bacteria plaque and tartar
Weakened enamel is more easily fractured and infected, so the best thing that you can do for your smile is to protect the enamel you have. Make sure that you follow all of your dentist’s recommendations for caring for your smile at home. Seek prompt treatment if you think that you are grinding or clenching your teeth.
Our Elmhurst dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have. Give us a call to get started!