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Protecting Your Tooth Enamel So It Can Protect Your Smile

Posted Mar 08 2012 5:44pm

What is the hardest substance in the human body?

A.     Fingernails

B.     Tooth Enamel

C.     Bone

D.    Cartilage

If you guessed tooth enamel, congratulations! Not only is tooth enamel the hardest substance in your body, it’s also the second hardest naturally occurring substance, right behind diamonds. It’s pretty impressive stuff, and it does a lot for your smile.

Your tooth enamel protects your teeth from the extreme temperatures and pressures they endure everyday. Despite how hard your tooth enamel is, it isn’t indestructible. A variety of things can cause your enamel to deteriorate and, if it happens to you, this oral condition shouldn’t be ignored.

During dental erosion, the surface of your tooth or teeth gradually wears away. Erosion can occur for several reasons. Any source of acid, such as soda and citrus fruits, can erode tooth enamel. One of the most common sources of acidity in the mouth, however, is GERD, medically known as gastroesophageal reflux disease. This condition occurs when acids from the stomach travel up the esophagus, delivering the acid into the mouth. Frequent vomiting is another source of enamel erosion, and is often why people who suffer from the eating disorder bulimia tend to have bad teeth.

To keep your enamel intact, eat well, drink plenty of water, practice healthy habits, and brush your teeth , but not too aggressively. Aggressive brushing can diminish tooth enamel, as well. If you’re concerned about the state of your tooth enamel, or if you experience tooth sensitivity, which is a sign of enamel erosion, schedule an appointment with San Jose dentist Dr. Randy LaFrom by calling (408) 996-8595 .


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