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Dental Erosion or Tooth Decay?

Your teeth are strong, enduring wear and tear from chewing and biting without issue ordinarily. You might know that a dental injury could harm your teeth, but they might also wear down gradually over time. This can occur in a variety of ways, including enamel erosion and tooth decay.

These two forms of structural dental damage vary in their causation and their prognosis, but they will both put your smile at risk of further harm. Seek treatment for these dental problems. And read on to learn more about the differences between dental erosion and tooth decay as well as how they influence each other.

restorative dental treatment and protection in Claremont California

Enamel Erosion Wears Down Dental Structure

The outer layer of your teeth, a hard shell called enamel, covers the entire exterior of your tooth and withstands a great deal of pressure. But enamel may erode due to many factors. Dental erosion means that for some reason, enamel has been eaten away, and once gone, enamel does not regrow.

This leaves the more sensitive interior of your tooth exposed to potential threats. You will have a higher risk of other dental dangers and you might feel tooth sensitivity and other discomforts without the protection of enamel. Dental erosion can also come with discoloration too that will not go away with your usual teeth-cleaning regimen.

A primary cause of enamel erosion is consuming acidic substances like citrus fruits and juices or sugary treats. Poor oral hygiene will also leave plaque that will eat away at your dental structure if it remains on your smile.

You can make at-home efforts to preserve your enamel. But it may also wear down due to habits like teeth grinding or factors outside your control like aging. Visit your dentist on a regular basis for effective preventative care that will keep your smile looking and feeling its best.

Tooth Decay Is Dental Damage Caused by Oral Bacteria

Tooth decay will also deteriorate your enamel, but this damage occurs in a different way. While enamel erosion generally happens due to acidic damage, tooth decay is caused by oral bacteria. The natural bacteria in your mouth can penetrate weak spots in the enamel and eat away at your teeth, creating holes called cavities.

A dentist must drill away the decay and fill the resulting hole with resin to treat this issue. More advanced decay also requires drilling. But the dentist will likely need more extensive coverage to restore the tooth’s structure, such as a dental crown.

Decay differs from dental erosion. But dental erosion will make your teeth more susceptible to decay because it makes your teeth thinner and weaker. Then bacteria can more easily infiltrate your smile. Good oral hygiene and other preventative dental care will keep decay at bay.

Talk to your dentist to learn more about protecting your dental structure from both tooth decay and erosion. Do not ignore signs of any problems as the issue will likely worsen.