The first step to protecting your smile from dental damage is to learn more about how oral health issues develop in the first place. Once you’re armed with this knowledge, you will be able to make thoughtful, healthy decisions for your smile. Keep reading to learn more from our Tinley Park dentists!
As you may already know, a tooth is actually comprised of multiple layers: the dental enamel, the dentin, and the dental pulp. The dental enamel is the outermost layer of your tooth, and, thus, it is designed to protect the rest of the tooth from irritants and infection.
There are a number of things that can damage your dental enamel. Some of these issues occur suddenly, while others compound over time:
Accidents or Trauma
Many people suffer from unexpected dental problems as the result of a car or bike accidents. Your teeth can also suffer if you forget to wear a protective mouthguard when taking part in contact or extreme sports.
Another reason that teeth wear down is due to acid exposure over time. If you regularly drink acid beverages like fruit juices, soft drinks, coffee, and wine, your enamel may begin to look and feel different. When your enamel comes into contact with acid, it temporarily weakens; for about 20 to 30 minutes after exposure, your enamel is more vulnerable to cracking and chipping.
We use the term “bruxism” to refer to chronic tooth grinding or clenching. The immense amount of pressure that bruxism puts on natural enamel, creates micro-cracks and chips in the tooth surface. These points of weakness become more severe as time goes on, and can also accumulate harmful bacteria.
By combining diligent at-home oral hygiene measures with professional dental care, you can minimize your chance of developing premature dental damage. Our Orland Park dentists are here to help you, so give us a call to schedule a consultation!