Below is an excerpt from an article found on Colgate.com that was written by Jennifer Mitchell Tooth enamel isn't just strong; it's the hardest substance in your body. It isn't indestructible, however, and can be eroded by substances that are stronger. Acid exposure can come from many sources, but with the help of your dentist, you can keep your enamel strong and healthy. Symptoms Acid erosion on teeth can lead to a variety of symptoms that should be evaluated by a dentist. As the outer layer of your teeth wears away, you may experience tooth sensitivity. This sensitivity often leads to pain when you consume hot or cold foods and drinks. Your teeth may also become discolored. This is because the enamel is white, unlike the sensitive, yellow tissue underneath is known as dentin. As the enamel erodes and exposes more of your dentin, your teeth begin to show more of its yellow color. The appearance of your teeth can change in other ways as a result of acid erosion, depending on the case. The bottom edge of your front teeth may start to look transparent instead of its natural opaque. You may also notice your teeth look smaller or thinner than they used to. If you notice any of these symptoms, you may have acid erosion, and should see your dentist right away for an evaluation. Causes There are just as many possible causes of acid erosion. Your favorite beverages, for example, may also be to blame for the initial sensitivity: According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), soft drinks are the most frequent source of erosive acids, most damaging due to their low pH levels. Other popular drinks, such as fruit juices, sports drinks and energy drinks, can also damage your teeth due to their acidity. These liquids aren't the only possible cause. Frequent vomiting introduces highly acidic stomach contents to your mouth and can lead to acid erosion. This is a particular concern for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness, as well as those who struggle with bulimia or related eating disorders. Similarly, gastroesophageal acid reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that makes acid from your stomach back up into your throat and mouth involuntarily. This leads to frequent heartburn and, ultimately, the erosion of your tooth enamel. If you suffer from GERD, make sure your dentist is aware of your condition.
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Many medical professionals consider obesity to be a chronic disease. It is well understood that obesity is on the rise in the United States, and that younger and younger members of our community are becoming obese due to poor nutrition and eating habits. Research has demonstrated that obesity will increase the risk for hypertension, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, CVD, respiratory problems, and endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon cancers.1 It has also been demonstrated in a recent research study that obesity also increases the risk for periodontal disease, and it may be insulin resistance that regu¨lates the relationship between obesity and periodontal disease.1 It has also been found that individuals with elevated body mass indices (BMI) produce a higher level of inflammatory proteins.1 The classifications of being overweight and obese can pertain to more than 60 percent of American adults. It is even higher for some high-risk populations, such as African-American women, placing these individuals at greater risk for diabetes and cardiovascular dis¨ease. Some authorities estimate that two out of three Americans are overweight or obese, and projections of obesity trends for the future indicate an increase in the incidence of obesity in the general population.1 It is very critical for individuals to understand the obesity epidemic and to take proactive steps in addressing this issue with themselves and family members who are obese. Good nutrition and exercise should be stressed and individuals should be educated on the role that obesity may play in the development of diabetes, CVD and cancer. The dental professional will take a thorough medical history and review any medical issues which may point to the cause for the obesity and refer the patient to his/her physician for evaluation. The oral health status will also be evaluated and treatment rendered based on the diagnosis. Emphasis will be placed on the reduction of the plaque and accompanying inflammation, both above and below the gumline. Home care should be reinforced, and patients should be encouraged to floss regularly and to brush twice daily with a toothpaste that offers antibacterial protection. To read the entire article visit Colgate.com.
Below is an excerpt from an article found on Colgate.com that was written by Katriena Knights Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, and is therefore vital to the health of your teeth. Not everyone's is the strongest, though, and still others have teeth without enamel at all. Without enamel to protect the softer interior parts of your teeth, they can't stand up to the stress of natural biting and chewing. These abnormal developments require special care and treatment. Enamel Hypoplasia Teeth can come in without enamel as a result of inherited issues or because of exposure to certain substances while the teeth are erupting. Baby teeth and permanent teeth can both emerge with enamel that is weak, improperly formed or missing altogether. One of these conditions is enamel hypoplasia, which literally means "underdeveloped enamel." A disorder that causes the teeth to develop with thin, deficient enamel, it sometimes manifests as a pit in the tooth ñ or even a hole. In advanced cases, there is no enamel at all, leaving the more sensitive dentin exposed. Under normal conditions, per the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), special cells in the teeth called ameloblasts form the cells of the tooth enamel. If these ameloblasts are damaged or do not fully develop, the enamel can't develop normally either. What Causes It Many factors can cause enamel hypoplasia. These include:
Poor nutrition during pregnancy or infancy.
Infection during pregnancy or infancy.
Trauma to the teeth or jaw.
Exposure to certain substances during pregnancy or infancy.
Nonetheless, it's often difficult to determine exactly what caused the teeth to develop abnormally. To read the entire article visit Colgate.com. The remainder of the article details the following: