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Why Do My Teeth Have Thin Enamel, and What Can I Do About It?

Posted Sep 07 2008 2:15am
Ask Dr.A
dradental.com



The answers given by Dr.A are intended as non-professional advice, for entertainment only if you will. Please do consult with your dentist of record or your physician before making any decision regarding your dental or medical health.




Dear Dr. A,

I am 24 years old and I have thin enamel on all my teeth. My entire life I have never had any problems with my teeth or had any work done, except for having my wisdom teeth removed.

I have always had a good diet, and as a child my parents hardly ever gave me sugar, and I was barely ever allowed to have fruit juice. Today my diet is still good, although I am pretty sure that my current diet has increased the acidity in my mouth.

I have seen some of the treatments online promising to eliminate sensitivity and so forth, however, none promise to build enamel and solve my problem, as such. My dentist has told me that I have about 10 years until this becomes a serious problem and suggests at that time that I will need to have crowns placed on all my teeth.

Do have any suggestions? or any advice? any response would be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards




Dr.A - Of course, it would be difficult to diagnose your problem without having a full examination of your teeth and surrounding tissues done in person. Having said that, I will try my best to address your concerns.

For your dentist to suggest that all your teeth may need to be crowned soon is extreme. I am not suggesting that it is not warranted, rather, only in extreme cases do dentists suggest such a treatment plan, especially for someone of your age. It would be interesting to understand exactly why your dentist came to this conclusion.

Did your dentist diagnose you with any form of Amelogenesis Imperfecta? This is a range of conditions that affect the development of enamel in varying ways. However, these conditions usually present themselves with obvious clinical symptoms, ie. mishapen teeth, and correlated with high rate of dental caries. In your case however, and according to you, you have never had any dental work in terms of restorations done on your teeth!

So personally, and based the information so far, I do not believe you suffer from Amelogenesis Imperfecta.

Thin enamel could also be the result of trauma or injury during the early development of teeth. This usually affects only one or a few teeth, and not the entire dentition.

Another cause of weak enamel is bulemia. The high acidic nature of stomach contents being purged causes havoc on the strength of your enamel. Bulemia however is usually seen more often in young teenage females.

What I would suggest is to visit your dentist again, and try to find out if you have Amelogenesis Imperfecta, or if the dentist feels you have had any trauma to the teeth during development. I would also suggest that before you do any expensive and extensive restorative work visit a second, or even a third dentist, just to get more opinions.

In the mean time, you should try ACT Restore rinse, and brush with Flouridex, which is a prescription toothpase with a high amount of flouride. Flouride may help in restoring some of the strength lost in your enamel. I would not use Flouridex for more than a couple of weeks, as the longterm effects of high flouride could be bad for your health. As for the ACT rinse, I would make it a daily habit to rinse with ACT just once, for as long as you need. Of course, consult the manufacturer's directions for more detailed or contrary information.

I am not sure where you live, but ACT and Flouridex are US trademarks, they may or may not be available outside the U.S. Ask your dentist what alternatives are available where you reside.

Read more Ask Dr.A




The answers given by Dr.A are intended as non-professional advice, for entertainment only if you will. Please do consult with your dentist of record or your physician before making any decision regarding your dental or medical health.







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