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Your London dentists tells you about the ins and outs of tooth enamel

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What is tooth enamel?

Tooth enamel is the hard outer layer of the teeth – it is the hardest mineral in the body and helps to protect the internal structures of the teeth from damage and decay. The thin layer of enamel covers the crown portion of the teeth.

What is the function of tooth enamel?

The primary function of tooth enamel is to protect the teeth. The teeth are used to chew, bite and grind down food and the protective enamel surfaces of the teeth help to prevent any damage during these processes.

Unlike other tissues in the body, enamel is not living so it cannot be replaced. Once the enamel is damaged or worn, the tooth becomes vulnerable and susceptible to decay. Tooth sensitivity is caused by worn enamel, because the dentin portion of the tooth – which contains the pulp – becomes exposed. The pulp contains the nerves and blood vessels and this is why you experience pain when the dentin is exposed.

Protecting tooth enamel

Tooth enamel is very strong but it can be weakened and worn by plaque acids. It is therefore important to take steps to protect the enamel – good oral hygiene will help to protect the enamel surfaces of the teeth. Brushing and flossing regularly will help to remove plaque, bacteria and food deposits from the mouth. Using a fluoride toothpaste will also aid in keeping the enamel strong.

Chipping and fracturing the enamel of the teeth can increase the risk of oral health diseases, as well as affecting the aesthetic appeal and function of the teeth.

Eating and drinking certain foods and drinks can erode the enamel, which is known as acid erosion. Examples of these foods and drinks include fruit juices, fizzy drinks and starchy and sugary foods.

 

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Your London dentists tells you about the ins and outs of tooth enamel

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