The Power of Extreme Enamel

Did you know that tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body? As a matter of fact, it’s the second hardest naturally occurring substance, second only to diamonds. It’s pretty impressive stuff!

I’m Dr. Randy LaFrom of LaFrom Dentistry, and your tooth enamel is just one of the things I check when you come in for a dental exam.

Tooth enamel is this tough for a reason, though. It is the natural defense system for your teeth. The enamel,  which is that dense white layer that covers each of your teeth, can withstand the extreme pressure and temperatures that your mouth experiences every day. It also protects your teeth from the thousands of harmful bacteria that thrive inside the oral cavity.

While it is incredibly strong, tooth enamel is not completely indestructible. After eating or drinking, acids temporarily soften tooth enamel. This allows sugars to stick to the teeth before the enamel hardens again. Luckily, your saliva contain compounds that re-strengthen the enamel. This is just another example of how the inner-workings of the mouth are all related and rely on each other.

Unfortunately, things like rigorous brushing (especially right after having acidic drinks) can diminish the enamel surface. While some toothpastes claim to help minimize or reverse this problem, enamel has no true substitute. Modern composite resin is a durable and esthetic material for restoration, but taking care of your natural enamel is extremely important. After all, it is your body’s natural defense system for your teeth.

Other fun facts about enamel:

  • Tooth enamel has tiny tunnels all through it so that temperature can be sensed by the internal nerve.
  • Tooth enamel is porous, so it can stain, but it can also be bleached.
  • Scientists have discovered how to re-grow natural tooth enamel. While this technology is still in development, this could potentially make fillings (and drilling) obsolete in the future.

The health of your natural enamel is just one reason why it is imperative to keep up with regular dental check-ups and cleanings. To schedule your next appointment, please call my office in Cupertino at (408) 996-8595.

~ by cupertinodentist on January 20, 2011.

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