Scientists Discover How to Regrow Tooth Enamel

scientist working on regrowing tooth enamel

Tooth enamel has been thought to be something that once you’ve lost it, you can’t get it back. However, a recent study has shown that scientists have actually discovered how to regrow tooth enamel.

What Is Tooth Enamel?

Let’s begin by talking about what tooth enamel is. Tooth enamel is the hard, outer shell of the tooth and the hardest tissue in the body. Enamel’s most important function is to protect your teeth from harmful bacteria and acids that can harm your teeth and cause tooth decay. When enamel is weakened and eroded, your teeth become more exposed to oral health issues.

What Causes Tooth Enamel Erosion?

So what causes tooth enamel to erode? Erosion occurs when acids attack and wear away the enamel. There are numerous ways in which acid is created. You are bringing acid into your mouth if you drink a lot of soft drinks or eat a lot of citrus fruits, or if you have a diet high in carbs and sugars because the bacteria in your mouth feed off these to create acids. Your tooth enamel might also erode if you have dry mouth, acid reflux disease, gastrointestinal problems, or if you’re taking certain medications like aspirin or antihistamines. Your teeth can also erode from environmental factors such as physical wear and tear of the tooth surface that happens when you brush too hard or floss improperly, stress fractures in the tooth like cracks, or if you grind your teeth.

What Are the Signs of Enamel Erosion?

There are a number of indicators that mean you could be suffering from enamel erosion. You may experience a sensitivity to foods and and beverages that are either hot or cold. You might also notice discoloration of your teeth which means that the enamel has worn off and the yellow dentin underneath is coming through. If you have very severe enamel erosion, you could feel a lot of pain.

How Can Tooth Enamel Regrow?

Scientists at Zhejiang University in China recently created a gel that makes tooth enamel actually repair itself. The researchers tested the gel on damaged human teeth and found that the gel made the enamel repair itself in just 48 hours, however it only generated a thin layer of enamel (about 400 times thinner than unworn enamel).

How Do You Prevent Enamel Loss?

Though scientists may have discovered how to regrow tooth enamel, your primary objective should be to prevent enamel loss at all costs. One of the best ways to prevent enamel loss is to practice good oral health habits every single day. This means brushing twice a day for two minutes each, flossing at least once a day, and using fluoride toothpaste. You should also avoid foods and drinks that are high in acids, sugars, and carbohydrates. If you want to indulge in an acidic drink though, be sure to use a straw so the liquid doesn’t touch the surface of your teeth. You can also chew sugarless gum which will increase saliva which remineralizes teeth naturally and drink water throughout the day to avoid dry mouth.

Visit Midtown Dental!

Another important way to prevent tooth enamel loss is by coming in for regular checkups and cleanings. Call us today to schedule an appointment!

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