Pits in Tooth Enamel

Enamel is the protective outer covering of the tooth. This tough shell is the hardest material in the human body. Enamel covers and protects the crown which is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gumline.
Because the enamel is translucent, you can see light through it. But the primary portion of the tooth, the dentin, is the area that is responsible for your tooth color.

Sometimes coffee, tea, red wine, cola, fruit, and cigarettes will stain the enamel on your teeth. Visits to your dentist every six months for a routine checkup and teeth cleaning can help remove surface stains and make sure your teeth remain healthy.

What Does Tooth Enamel Do?

Enamel helps protect your teeth from daily biting, chewing, crunching, and grinding. Even though enamel is a hard protector of your teeth, it can crack and chip. Enamel also insulates the teeth from temperatures and chemicals. When it does erode, you may notice that you react more to hot or cold foods, drinks, and sweets.

Unlike a broken bone that can repair itself, once a tooth chips or cracks, the damage is permanent. Because the enamel has no living cells, your body cannot repair the chipped or cracked enamel.

What Causes Enamel Erosion?

Tooth erosion is when acids wear away the enamel. Enamel erosion can be caused:

* Dry mouth or low saliva flow. Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by washing away the bacteria and leftover food in your mouth. It also keeps acids at an acceptable level.

* Too many soft drinks, which have a lot of phosphoric and citric acids. Bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugar, and then create acids that eat away at enamel. It gets worse if you do not brush your teeth daily.

* Some acids in fruit drinks are more erosive than battery acid.

* Sour foods or candies have a lot of acid.

* A diet high in sugar and starches.

* Acid reflux disease or heartburn. These bring up stomach acids, where they can damage enamel.

* Gastrointestinal problems.

* Medications, antihistamines, aspirin, vitamin C.

* Alcohol misuse or binge drinking, causing frequent vomiting, which is hard on teeth.

* Genetics, inherited conditions.

* Things in your environment, friction, wear and tear, stress, and corrosion.

What are the Signs of Enamel Erosion?

The signs of enamel erosion can vary, depending on the stage. Some signs include:
* Cracks and chips, causing the edges of the teeth to become more rough, irregular, and jagged as enamel erodes.
* Sensitivity to certain foods and temperatures of foods can cause a twinge of pain in the early stage of enamel erosion.
* Discoloration, as the enamel erodes and more dentin is exposed, the teeth appear yellow.
* Smooth, shiny surfaces on the teeth, which is a sign of mineral loss.
* Severe, painful sensitivity. In later stages of enamel erosion, teeth become extremely sensitive to temperatures and sweets.
* Cupping, or indentations that appear on the surface of the teeth where you bite and chew.

When the enamel erodes, the tooth becomes more susceptible to cavities or tooth decay. When the tooth decay attacks the hard enamel, it will have entry to the main body of the tooth.

A small cavity might cause extraordinarily minor problems at first. But as the cavity grows and penetrates the tooth, it will affect the tiny nerve fibers, resulting in a painful infection or an extremely painful abscess.

What causes pitted and defective enamel