Posted on: 26 December 2014Share
The enamel on your teeth keep them from becoming damaged as you chew and it keeps them from hurting when you eat hot or cold foods. When you have a health condition called dry mouth, this can cause loss of tooth enamel.
Below you'll learn more about dry mouth and how you can help to prevent the loss of this protective substance on your teeth. Since tooth enamel loss can also cause discoloration, you'll find out about a dental procedure that can correct the appearance of your teeth due to the loss of tooth enamel.
Tooth Enamel Loss With Dry Mouth
Xerostomia is the medical term for dry mouth and it's caused when your salivary glands don't produce a sufficient amount of saliva. Saliva contains calcium and phosphate and these minerals protect the enamel on your teeth. Saliva also rinses away food particles on your teeth that can cause tooth decay.
You may have dry mouth for a number of reasons such as the medications you take or because of health issues. Medications that cause dry mouth include antihistamines, decongestants, diuretics and muscle relaxants. Health conditions that contribute to dry mouth include diabetes, hypertension and thyroid disorders.
Preventative Measures For Dry Mouth
To prevent further enamel loss due to dry mouth and to protect the enamel, which is the hardest substance in your body, do the following things at home to increase your saliva.
- While eating a meal or snack, chew your food very thoroughly. The more times that you chew your food, the more saliva you'll create to help moisten your dry mouth.
- Eat crunchy foods, such as raw carrots, celery or apples, to get your saliva flowing.
- Chew sugarless gum or suck on a piece of sugar free candy.
- Sip on water throughout the day to keep your mouth moist all day long.
- Breathe air in through your nose and avoid taking in air through your mouth if possible. Taking a breath in through your mouth will dry it out even more.
- Run a humidifier in your bedroom to put additional moisture into the room as you sleep. This is especially helpful if you sleep with your mouth open.
When you follow these preventative measures at home, your mouth won't be as dry and you'll keep your tooth enamel from wearing out too quickly.
Dental Help For Tooth Enamel Loss
As your tooth enamel wears down and fails to protect your teeth, you may also notice that your teeth appear discolored. You can cover up this sign of enamel loss by having your dentist place veneers on your teeth.
Your dentist will place a thin covering made out of porcelain or a composite material over the front of your damaged tooth. A veneer will hide the dullness and imperfections from the loss of tooth enamel and it will protect your tooth from further damage.
Before placing this natural looking cover on your tooth, your dentist will scrape a small portion of enamel from the front and sides of your tooth. Your dentist removes a fraction of the enamel so that the veneer will align correctly with your natural teeth.
After the dentist takes an impression of your tooth and selects a veneer shade that matches your natural teeth, the dental lab makes your veneer. When the lab finishes making your veneer, the dentist will bond the veneer to the surface of your tooth.
If you have dry mouth, follow the preventive measures above to keep your enamel loss at a minimum. If you're interested in getting composite or porcelain veneers, schedule a consultation and speak to your dentist about this procedure.