The components of the human mouth are among the most durable in the human body. The tongue is one of the strongest muscles in the human body. And as for teeth, sometimes they are mistaken for bones. The calcified tissue known as dentine that makes up human teeth is actually stronger than bones. Pulp makes up the core of your teeth with dentin surrounding it and giving teeth a slight hue of yellow. Protecting this layer is your enamel, which, unlike bones, doesn’t have the same revitalizing powers when damaged. That’s why in this post we are going to focus on the factors that can wear your enamel down.

Acidification and Erosion
The erosion of enamel is caused by the gradual acidification of your teeth. The human mouth’s natural pH state is neutral leaning towards alkaline, meaning the addition of lower pH compounds adds distress to your enamel. The lower the pH level, the more acidic the item, so  sodas, dry mouth, and even some medications can contribute to higher acidity in the mouth, leading to enamel erosion.

Attrition refers to the tooth-on-tooth friction that occurs inside your mouth. Nothing in the human mouth is stronger than your teeth, so when they constantly rub up against each other, they began to wear down. Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth magnifies the effects of attrition.

While attrition refers to the internal erosion caused by enamel friction, abrasion is caused by the external wear you expose your mouth to. Over brushing, biting down on your nails, or any other external exposures that cause mechanical stresses on your teeth can cause abrasion.

All of these factors are difficult, if not impossible, to avoid.  They can, however, be minimized with proper dental care.  Brushing and flossing twice a day, using fluoride rinses as appropriate, and attending regular biannual appointments at James River Family Dentistry will help keep your smile healthy and bright for years to come.

Call us at James River Family Dentistry, 804-323-4200, to schedule an appointment or use our convenient online scheduling system.  We hope to hear from you soon!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.