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Thin Tooth Enamel: An Anatomy

Thinning Tooth Enamel

Brushing - If a patient is vigorous with the tooth brush the enamel can be thinned over a period of many years. A hard tooth brush can be damaging along with a rough brushing technique.

Brushing with a Whitening Tooth Paste - If the patient uses a whitening tooth paste with abrasives, the rate of enamel thinning is increased. Some tooth pastes contain abrasives in order to remove surface stains but actually scratch and abrade the enamel causing it to thin over many years. The teeth look whiter as the enamel slowly disappears.

Soda or Soft Drinks - Many popular drinks cause the enamel to thin because of the acid content removes the bio film from the tooth structure. The enamel loses it's protective bio film coating and can wear or thin tooth enamel more easily.

Acid Fruits - Oranges and Lemons contain acid that actually chemically softens the surface of the enamel, removes the bio film and increases the rate of thinning enamel. If the patient uses abrasive tooth paste, a hard brush, a rough brushing technique, drinks soft drinks and fruit juices, the rate of wear and thinning of the enamel is increased. Some patients suck on the lemons or oranges and the constant exposure to the acid in the fruit has a continuous enamel thinning effect.

Genetics - Family genetics can also play a role in thinning tooth enamel as some patients are born with "soft tooth enamel" which wears down much faster then normal hard enamel. Some patients never had strong enamel from the first days the tooth erupted into their mouths. These patients get more cavities and wear down their teeth more quickly.

Illness - Certain illnesees during the formation of our teeth from 2 years of age to about 12 years of age can also cause the formation of weak enamel. These patients may not form strong enamel due to the disruption of the enamel crystal formation inside their jaws. The enamel crystal is disrupted and permanently weakened. Most of these patients teeth will be flawed and weakened for the rest of the patient's life.

On of the best treatment solutions for thin or weak enamel is non invasive porcelain veneers. The thin shell of porcelain bonded over the weak enamel can greatly improve the strength and endurance of the remaining tooth structure. The bonding and hand skill of the dentist is critical for the process to be successful over a long period of time.

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