Healthy enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t develop properly, or is weakened by exposure to acidic foods. Weakened enamel requires special treatment to keep your teeth sound and healthy. One common treatment for weak or improperly formed enamel is dental veneers.
Causes of Weak Enamel
Weak enamel can occur due to improper development or due to wear and tear over time. Enamel protects the softer dentin and the interior of the tooth while providing the necessary strength for biting and chewing. When enamel is weak, it can lead to numerous long-term problems, including tooth loss.
Genetic issues or certain illnesses can cause the enamel to develop improperly. Malformed enamel can be overly brittle or even chalky. There is little that can be done to avoid enamel wear and loss if your enamel doesn’t form properly in the first place. However, other causes of weak enamel are preventable, including:
- Exposure to highly acidic foods
- Excessive consumption of carbonated beverages
- Using a toothbrush that is too stiff
- Dry mouth
- Some medications
Talk to your dentist about these types of environmental exposures that could be causing damage to your enamel.
Treating Weak Enamel
Regular brushing—with a fluoride toothpaste—and flossing help keep your enamel healthy. Fluoride can even help heal very minor damage to the enamel. More extensive damage, however, must be treated with restorations. Your dentist might recommend bonding with a tooth-colored resin, or, in severe cases, a dental crown.
Another common treatment for damaged or weak enamel is dental veneers. Veneers are designed to cover the surfaces of the front teeth, protecting them from further damage. They are custom made and color-matched to your teeth and are made of porcelain so they reflect light just like normal, healthy enamel. As a result, people won’t even be able to tell your teeth have been treated. Treatment is relatively simple. In some cases, depending upon the shape of your teeth and the type of veneer, you won’t even have to have your teeth altered to make room for the veneers.
Call our office to set up an appointment with our professional and caring team to discuss your treatment options.