Richmond Dentist Takes a Close Look at Tooth Enamel

Mar 1st, 2013 | By | Category: General Dentistry, Patient Education

Tooth EnamelYou may have heard of tooth enamel; you’re probably aware that it’s the protective coating around your teeth; but did you know that enamel is the strongest substance your body produces? Perhaps it must be to protect your teeth from the immense pressure that your bite can produce (up to 200 psi on your back molars), as well as from the harmful processes of oral bacteria. Protecting this enamel, and thus protecting your teeth, is easier when you understand what it’s made of and what it’s vulnerable to. To help you keep your smile healthy, Richmond dentist Dr. Moiceanu takes a close look at your tooth’s first and foremost defense mechanism.

What is Enamel Made Of?

People often confuse teeth with bone, believing the two substances to be one and the same. The confusion is understandable, considering both teeth and bone contain many of the same essential minerals, including calcium and phosphate. The difference, however, lies in the proteins that shape the mineral matrix of each. Enamel proteins stretch the mineral strands thousands of times longer than those of bone, making enamel significantly tougher than the bones in your body. In fact, the only substance on earth stronger than your tooth enamel is diamond.

Tooth Enamel’s Kryptonite

As strong as your tooth enamel is, it’s not invincible. The greatest enemy to your tooth’s protective layer is acid, which is produced by oral bacteria after consuming sugar and other fermentable carbohydrates. This acid weakens your enamel and depletes your teeth of the minerals that it absorbs to gain strength. In time, if acid erosion overwhelms your enamel’s rate of remineralization, your enamel can grow too weak to repel the bacteria that initiate decay in your tooth’s inner structures. Snacking excessively on sugary foods provides ample fuel for these germs to produce more acid, increasing your risk of developing tooth decay.

Keep Your Teeth Strong and Healthy with Richmond Dentist

Brushing and flossing at least twice a day can help you control the population of acid-producing bacteria, and refraining from excessive snacking can deprive them of fuel for the process. To learn more about protecting your teeth from decay, speak with Dr. Moiceanu as soon as possible. You can schedule a consultation with your Richmond dentist by calling Hilltop Family Dental at 510-758-7222. Located in the 94806 area, we proudly serve families from Richmond, Berkeley, San Pablo, Pinole, Benicia, Vallejo, and the surrounding communities.

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