Enamel Regeneration – The Future?
Could science help us to rebuild damaged tooth enamel in the not too far off future?
Every now and then a ‘good news’ dental story makes the news. One recent one is the claim that scientists have discovered a method that could regenerate the enamel on our teeth. They claim that this could both help to prevent tooth decay and sensitive teeth caused by damaged enamel. Researchers now claim that they have found a way to grow mineralised material that could pave the way for enamel to be regenerated in the future.
This is, without a doubt, an exciting possibility, but the time from research to practical application can be lengthy and we would advise our patients to look after their tooth enamel as best as they can, as this new process could be many years away, if at all.
What damages enamel?
At the Confidental Clinic in Streatham, we see damaged enamel caused by a number of different factors. The most obvious one of these is that caused by eating sweets or sugary drinks. The latter have been heavily blamed for tooth decay in children especially.
Whilst we might expect sugary drinks to be one of the leading causes of damage, it certainly isn’t the only one, and two of the other most common ones may come as a surprise to some of our patients.
Not all fruits, but those which contain citric acids, such as oranges and lemons, are especially damaging to tooth enamel. Starting the day with a drink of hot water and lemon might seem like a healthy way to wake up, but that lemon will almost certainly be harmful to your teeth if you do this on a regular basis, gradually eroding the protective enamel.
Brushing your teeth
Ridiculous as it might seem, even brushing your teeth can damage enamel. This does not mean that you should stop brushing of course. Brushing correctly is harmless and essential to protect your teeth. If you brush too hard though, you will wear down the enamel, exposing the softer dentin layer below. Ironically, this damage often occurs in our Streatham patients who are over-conscientious about cleaning their teeth and who do so too aggressively. A gentle circular motion is all that is needed in the morning and last thing before going to bed.
When the damage is done
If you are reading this blog too late and have already suffered damage, possibly causing your teeth to become sensitive, you probably won’t want to wait to see if enamel regeneration techniques ever see the light of day. Your teeth can still be protected though, using various treatments we provide at our Streatham practice. If you would like to find out more about your options, or for dental advice in general, you can contact the Confidental Clinic on 020 8674 2052.