Your teeth are protected by the strongest substance in the human body, the tooth enamel. Think of the tooth enamel as a hard shell that covers your teeth, protecting it from daily wear and tear. Inside the tooth enamel, you will find the dental pulp which is made up of connective tissue and nerve fibres. Therefore, any interference with the enamel, could cause damage to the dental pulp, resulting in mild to severe tooth ache.
Although the enamel is hard, it can easily chip or crack. When this happens, you will feel a sharp undeniable pain centred on the chipped or cracked tooth. If you fail to consult with a dentist immediately after your tooth cracks or chips, your tooth might become filled with cavities and decay. You may also experience a sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages, since food and drinks can get through the crack in the enamel and affect the nerves inside.
Enamel damage can be caused by a number of things, such as a dry mouth (which can be the result of many prescription or illegal drugs, as well as alcohol abuse) and acid in food that can eat away at the enamel. Sweet or sour candy are major contributors to enamel damage, because bacteria thrive on sugar while sour candy contains a lot of acid which causes tooth decay. Cutting down on acidic foods and drinks, rinsing your mouth after every meal, brushing your teeth with a soft toothbrush and chewing sugar-free gum are great ways to protect your tooth enamel. However, the best way to take care of your enamel is through good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Once damaged, only a dentist can repair the enamel.
If the enamel is damaged, it is important to inform your dentist of any drug or alcohol usage that you may have. This helps the dentist to determine the best dental restoration procedure for your teeth. Consult an experienced and professional dentist in Cape Town, who can help prevent any damage to your tooth enamel.
WebMD “The Truth About Healthy Teeth: At-Home Dental Care”
Humana “Understanding tooth enamel”
Better Health Channel “Teeth and drug use”