When you’re visiting your dentist, they often can tell you how to take care of your teeth, but it is also important to know about the structure of your teeth. One of the most important parts of your teeth is the enamel, which is the outer surface of the tooth. At Cowichan Valley Dental, we strive to educate and empower our patients so that they can make knowledgeable decisions based on their oral health.

Enamel

Tooth enamel is the outermost covering of the tooth. Enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body. It is translucent, allowing light to pass through it. The main portion of the tooth, the dentin, is what is responsible for the color of your tooth, although sometimes certain foods, like coffee, soda, and red wine can stain the enamel on your teeth, causing discoloration.

The enamel protects the teeth from daily use, such as chewing and biting. It also protects the teeth from dangerous temperatures and chemicals. Though enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body, it still is able to crack and become damaged.

Enamel erosion occurs when acid wears away the enamel on your teeth. This erosion can be caused by:

  • Soft drinks, which have high levels of phosphoric and citric acids
  • Fruit drinks, which contain high amounts of sugar
  • Dry mouth or low salivary gland, causing the mouth to lack saliva which protects your teeth by coating it with useful minerals

In addition, friction, wear and tear, and corrosion can also cause erosion, slowly damaging the enamel.

For teeth that has had a significant loss of enamel, we would recommend looking at getting crowns or veneers to restore it.

Cowichan Valley Dental operates in Duncan, BC.