Our Toluca Lake dentists have found that the more our patients know about how their smiles are designed, the better able they are to maintain long-term oral health. With this in mind, our dental team is here to give you some information about dental enamel—that very important outermost covering of the tooth. Let’s get started!
When you take a look at your smile in the mirror, your dental enamel is what you see smiling back to you. Healthy enamel is generally somewhat white and luminous, though patients’ natural enamel shades vary greatly.
We’ve already mentioned that enamel is the outermost layer of your tooth, which means that there must be other layers underneath it! Specifically, there are two: the dentin, and then the dental pulp. Dentin is more porous than enamel, thus more susceptible to infection and damage. Dental pulp is the most vulnerable tooth layer; it is made up of blood vessels, nerves, and other tissues.
When your dental enamel is healthy and strong, it keeps dental debris and bacteria from reaching the inner layers of your tooth. Because dental enamel does not contain nerves, you are able to eat, drink, and clean your smile comfortably as long as your enamel is in good shape.
The problem is that dental enamel is not impervious to damage. Things like acidic substances, and chronic dental grinding (bruxism) can cause your enamel to weaken and wear down over time. Additionally, if you regularly chew on ice or hard candies, you could be creating micro-cracks and chips in your enamel as a result.
In order to keep your smile strong for years to come, it is vital that you care for your enamel as best you can. This means following all of your dentist’s recommendations regarding at-home oral hygiene, and keeping up with your dentist-prescribed schedule of professional dental cleanings.
Please reach out to our Toluca Lake dentists if you have any questions about oral health in general, or enamel in particular. We’re here to help!