General Dentistry: The Facts About Tooth Enamel

General Dentistry: The Facts About Tooth Enamel from Allure Dental of Hollywood in Hollywood, FLGeneral dentistry is a dental practice where professionals prioritize diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of dental issues. A patient may undergo cleanings, fillings, root canals, and various other procedures to save their teeth and gums during an appointment. General dentists also stress the importance of oral health education.

4 interesting facts about tooth enamel

While most patients understand the importance of dental hygiene, they may not grasp exactly how tooth enamel plays into their oral health. Unfortunately, when patients do not understand how tooth enamel works, it may be easier to skip certain parts of oral hygiene or preventative maintenance.

1. Tooth enamel is the strongest substance your body produces

Did you know that the human body cannot create a material stronger than enamel? The only substance stronger than enamel is diamond. Comprised of calcium and phosphate, enamel has a similar mineral composition to bone. The enamel's proteins stretch thousands of times longer than bone. The result is a more robust, more resilient material.

Tooth enamel needs to remain strong to withhold the stress of biting and chewing. After all, a human can exert about 200 pounds of pressure with a bite.

2. Enamel requires help to maintain strength

Enamel cannot remain strong by itself. Enamel requires additional mineral support to stay healthy and to prevent erosion. To preserve strength, dentists use fluoride treatments. Fluoride binds to the enamel and fortifies it against damage from acid. In addition, many cities have fluoride in their water, and patients can find fluoride in various toothpaste brands and oral rinses.

Unfortunately, these usually strong minerals do have a weakness. Sugar-hungry bacteria live on plaque and tartar buildup. The bacteria release an acid that attacks the supportive minerals in the enamel. As the bacteria feed on the minerals, it weakens the enamel. Over time, the acid depletes the minerals and causes enamel erosion.

3. Enamel erosion is permanent

Some people do not know how to brush their teeth properly. They may brush too hard, thinking it cleans the teeth better. Unfortunately, aggressive brushing does more harm than good. When patients brush too hard, they weaken the enamel of their teeth. Over time, the aggressive brushing leads to erosion and chipping.

People cannot grow new enamel. Once an individual has erosion loss, they cannot reverse it. While dentists can treat the erosion artificially, they recommend that patients do what they can to prevent it from eroding in the first place.

4. Enamel protects against tooth sensitivity

Enamel is the last layer of the tooth structure. Beneath the enamel is a yellow or gray material called dentin. The dentin is sensitive to changes in temperature. When the enamel begins to break down, dentin shows through. Enamel is white, translucent, and responsible for shiny teeth. As it wears down, the teeth start to change color. Likewise, the teeth become more sensitive.

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Professionals in general dentistry provide various procedures for a patient's overall oral health. Dentists also offer knowledge about dental structures and how their procedures impact them.

Request an appointment or call Allure Dental of Hollywood at 954-514-9749 for an appointment in our Hollywood office.

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