What is the enamel and how does it contribute to dental health?

Your teeth are extremely important to your health. Though your teeth are obviously important for eating, they are also important for your survival. As humans, we use our teeth for chewing and opening certain objects. Our teeth work for us well beyond just simply chewing our food, we also use our teeth for pronunciation as well. As a species, we rely heavily on our teeth, so why is it that the health of our teeth has grown poorer with each century?
In ancient times, the Egyptians valued their dental health and created one of the first toothbrushes. Even without the invention of modern dentistry, this civilization had extraordinarily healthy teeth. But how? Well, a study in the existence of tooth enamel may be able to answer some of our questions, and possibly provide answers to why our teeth are steadily getting worse as a species.

What is causing the the number of people with cavities to increase?

91 percent of American adults from the ages of 20 to 64 have had dental caries, or cavities. This number is astounding, especially due to the innovations in dental care, toothbrush technology, and toothpaste solutions. Yet, despite all of these dental marvels, there are still more people with cavities, than not. How is this possible?
Well, to put it simply, humans today eat and drink far more sugary and acidic items than ever before. Both sugar and acid are notoriously bad for your teeth, specifically the enamel of your teeth. But, what is the enamel?

What is the enamel?

Your enamel is like a hardened casing around each of your teeth that protect it from developing cavities or other dental problems. The enamel, in many ways, can be viewed as your teeth dental bodyguard; it defends against anything that would hurt your teeth and could cause you dental pain. However useful, the enamel is often overlooked and underappreciated. When you drink or eat sugary or acidic items, they naturally erode the enamel casing around your teeth. This means that your enamel is broken down and less effective in term of protecting your teeth.

What is so special about the enamel?

The enamel is one of the most special things about the human body. Why? In just the casing, the enamel is the most highly mineralized substance in your body. Made of minerals, such as hydroxyapatite, there are no living cells in the casing. This means that the enamel cannot regenerate and, thus, becomes that much more valuable to your body. Once the enamel has fully eroded, you cannot get it back. And, modern dentistry cannot perfectly replicate the casing either. So, when your enamel is gone, it is gone. This can give you extra motivation to care for your enamel and the integrity of your teeth. But, unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case. More people in America are finding that they have eroded teeth and almost nonexistent enamels, largely based on the quality of their diet. It is unfortunate, but the American diet is largely dependent on foods that contain copious amounts of sugar and acids.

How can you care for your enamel?

Your dentist can refer certain dental products, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste for you to use. These products can help you strengthen your enamel and fight against dental erosion. Part of the problem with the American diet is that sugar and acids stay attached to the teeth and slowly eat away at the enamel. Certain dental products can help extract these items from your teeth to ensure that your enamel is well protected.
One of the best ways to keep your enamel is by avoiding foods and drinks with high sugar contents. Sugar is one of the worst things for your teeth, with or without your enamel. Sugar can decrease the strength of your teeth, your enamel, and can cause erosion to the tooth itself. And, sugar can develop into bacteria that can cause very serious dental issues as well, such as an infection or tissue decay. Dental decay will need immediate dental treatment, such as a root canal. This intensive procedure will ensure that the decayed section of your tooth is extracted and stop any dental pain you may be experiencing. When the enamel can no longer protect your teeth, this is how major issues and dental pain can occur.

Joshua Colkmire DDS

Joshua Colkmire DDS can help you and ensure that your teeth are on a path of health. Our dentists can inspect your teeth and determine the state of your enamel. And, if your enamel seems to be fading away, we can suggest some dental practices that will help to keep the enamel that you have left. Contact our practice today for your local Sarasota dentist.