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The hard covering on your teeth, called enamel, can wear away over time for various reasons. If you notice it already, you can stop it from worsening. Enamel protects your teeth from chemicals in food and bodily fluids but can also get damaged.

Top 10 Causes of Enamel Erosion

The enamel covering your teeth is mostly hydroxyapatite, a strong form of calcium phosphate. It’s the hardest substance in your body, even tougher than bone and steel, but it’s also quite brittle. Enamel can still break down and wear away over time despite its strength. Following are the 10 well-known culprits behind it:

  1. Poor Dental Hygiene
    There are around 700 types of bacteria in your mouth. Most are harmless or helpful, but some are not so nice. These are the ones that cause tooth decay and gum disease. They feed on the sugars in your food and drinks, making acids that can hurt your teeth.
    These acids mix with saliva and other bacteria, forming a plaque sticky film. Plaque is bad news because millions of bacteria live in it and attack tooth enamel, the hard covering of teeth. If this continues, it weakens your enamel, which is not good.
    Plaque can build up quickly, even in 12 hours, if you don’t brush and floss often enough. That’s why brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice daily is super important.
  2. Using the Wrong Kind of Mouthwash
    Some mouthwashes are great at killing germs but can also form tartar, a hard form of plaque, on your teeth. It’s better to use mouthwash that helps stop plaque from forming. After you use mouthwash, don’t eat or drink anything for about 30 minutes.
  3. Drinking Soda
    Soda is packed with sugar and carbon, which bacteria in your mouth love to munch on. They make acids that harm your teeth, especially your enamel. If you drink soda often, it can hurt your teeth over time.
  4. Too Much Citric Acid
    Orange and apple juices are healthy but have lots of citric acid, which can wear down your enamel. It can even make white spots on your teeth. If you drink these juices, rinse your mouth with water afterward to wash away some of the acid.
  5. Regular Consumption of Carbonated Water
    Drinking lots of carbonated water can also hurt your enamel. It’s acidic and can make your enamel weak. So, it’s best not to have too much of it.
  6. Snacking on Sugar
    Eating sugary snacks like hard candy and chewy caramel is not great for your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth love sugar; if you don’t brush well, they can damage your enamel.
  7. Feasting on Starches
    Foods like white bread, crackers, pasta, rice, and cakes contain starches that quickly break down into sugars. Bacteria love these sugars, too, so eating starches can hurt your teeth.
  8. Guzzling Alcohol
    Alcohol and acids in alcoholic drinks can make your mouth dry by reducing saliva. Without enough saliva, harmful bacteria can grow, and your teeth might lose enamel, which is not good for them.
  9. Bruxism
    Teeth grinding, called bruxism, affects some people, especially when they sleep. Grinding can wear down your enamel and even break your teeth if severe.
  10. Acid Reflux Disease
    If you have acid reflux, stomach acids can reach your mouth and hurt your enamel. Just like other acids, these can damage your teeth over time.

How to Treat Enamel Erosion?

If your enamel keeps wearing down, your dentist might suggest some treatments to help. One option is tooth bonding, where a tooth-colored material is put on your damaged teeth. This material can hide any discoloration and prevent further damage. During intense cases, your dentist might even suggest putting a crown or veneer on your teeth to protect them.

Concluding Thoughts

The best way to beat enamel erosion is to prevent it from starting or progressing further. This is only possible if you know the top 10 causes behind it.

Visit our professionals at Angleton Family Dental, holding many years of experience in restorative and preventive dentistry. Call us at (979) 308-4450 to schedule an appointment.

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