A tooth is made up of a series of layers, the outside of which is the white enamel — and the part that you are responsible for taking care of through regular hygiene practices and routine preventive visits to the dentist. Protecting the tooth enamel will help you keep a complete smile for life. Below, find out more about why this outermost layer of the tooth matters, and how you can protect it.
What Are the Layers of a Tooth?
There are 4 layers that make up a tooth. They are:
- Enamel: The outside of the tooth and the hardest layer. This is what protects your teeth from the acids, sugars, and bacterias that cause cavities. Enamel is not sensitive, but when it wears away, tooth sensitivity may occur as the following softer layers are exposed.
- Dentin: The layer just below the tooth enamel, dentin is soft, yellow-ish, and sensitive. It is actually made out of tiny tubes.
- Cementum: You can’t see this soft layer, which lives between the tooth’s root and the gums. It acts like foundation that keeps your tooth stable in the gum line.
- Pulp: The most sensitive layer of tooth (often called the “nerve”), the pulp is soft and lives within the tooth.
How Can I Protect My Tooth Enamel?
Because tooth enamel is vital for protecting the inner layers of dentin, cementum, and pulp, it is important to take steps to protect the enamel on a daily basis. You can keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free by brushing them for two minutes, twice a day and flossing between teeth daily. Drinking plenty of water will also help wash away bacteria that causes cavities.
If you grind your teeth at night, your dentist may also recommend a customized nightguard. This condition, known as bruxism, results in teeth grinding and jaw clenching that can gradually wear away at the tooth enamel, leaving the underlying layers exposed and increasingly vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. A mouthguard helps by placing an extra protective layer between the upper and lower teeth, reducing friction and enamel erosion.
Get a Personalized Treatment Plan
If you suffer from tooth sensitivity or enamel erosion, it is a good idea to visit your dentist to talk through your problem one-on-one. By surveying the breadth of options in general and restorative dentistry, including customized night guards for bruxism, the team can put together a personalized plan for helping you achieve optimal health for the long haul.
Meet the Practice
Canatella Dental, led by Dr. Todd Canatella and Dr. Rachel Neumeyer, offers a full list of treatments to serve the dental health needs of patients of all ages. To learn more about how you can prevent cavities and enamel erosion or to schedule an appointment, call the office today at (504) 282-0700.