Tooth Enamel Loss From Acid Erosion
The tooth consists of four layers: enamel, cementum, dentin, and pulp. The enamel, cementum, and dentin are hard and calcified, while the pulp in the center of the tooth contains nerves and blood vessels. The enamel is the outermost layer that covers the visible crown of the tooth. The enamel is not living tissue, so your body can't rebuild tooth enamel that has been damaged or worn away due to erosion from dietary acids. (1)
What Causes Tooth Enamel Loss?
Tooth enamel can be damaged by a variety of factors:
- Overexposure to Acids From Everyday Food and Drinks: If plaque is not removed by regular toothbrushing and flossing, the acids produced by the plaque can cause demineralization of the tooth enamel.
- Physical Damage to Teeth: You have tooth enamel loss if you have a chipped or broken tooth.
- Other Health Issues: Certain medications, including aspirin and vitamin C, can contribute to tooth enamel erosion. (2)
Can You Repair Weakened Tooth Enamel?
While you can't rebuild tooth enamel, there are ways to repair tooth structure and protect the teeth from further erosion. Your dental professional may recommend one of two options:
- Tooth Bonding: Tooth bonding is an effective way to repair tooth structure if teeth have been chipped or cracked. Tooth bonding involves attaching tooth-colored composite resin to the tooth to fill in the damaged area.
- Tooth Crown: A tooth crown, also known as a cap, can rebuild tooth structure by covering the damaged enamel to help prevent further erosion. (2), (3), (4)