Hard and True Facts about Tooth Enamel

Older Man SmileWhile it is true that good oral hygiene and preventive care from your dentist are important parts of keeping your teeth healthy, your mouth is a pretty amazing thing. You may not realize that mouths have natural defenses against the many harmful oral bacteria that collect inside them. Unfortunately, our American eating culture has affected some of those natural abilities to fight the bad bacteria that set-up shop in our oral cavities. For example, our mouths have the ability to neutralize the acid that is produced when sucrose is introduced to the bacteria called Streptococcus mutans. However, we eat so many refined sugars, which result in a much higher acid production, so our teeth may not have a fighting chance. You can’t see enamel cosmetically, but when it’s gone, cosmetic dental issues are likely to be afoot.

Tooth Enamel Facts

Tooth enamel is the strongest substance that your body produces. The only substance in the world that’s stronger is diamonds.

Tooth enamel is the most highly mineralized substance in your body. It is made primarily of calcium and phosphate mineral crystals which are impressively even longer and stronger than those that make up your bones.

Even with such brute strength, tooth enamel is not immune. Lactic acid is the main cause of enamel erosion. Eroded tooth enamel is one possible cause of heightened tooth sensitivity as well.

Enamel only covers and protects the crown (or top part) of teeth, but doesn’t extend under the gumline. Your teeth’s roots are protected by something called cementum. This bonelike connective tissue is not nearly as dense as tooth enamel, but it does assist in tooth support.

If tooth enamel should become weakened, absorbing additional minerals, like calcium and phosphate, can strengthen it. If enamel cracks, chips, or fractures, though, you will need to seek the help of Dr. Engelberg.

Some of the best ways to assure that acid in your mouth is neutralized and enamel is protected include drinking plenty of water and milk. Saliva also raises the mouth’s pH and assists in neutralizing acid attacks.


Dr. Brent Engelberg and his highly-skilled team proudly serve patients and their families from Arlington Heights, IL, and all surrounding communities, including; Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Libertyville, Skokie, Evanston, Palatine, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, and the Northern and Northwest Chicago Suburbs. To learn more, schedule a consultation online, or call our office today at 847-259-8030.

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