The enamel - the top layer of the tooth - is the hardest substance in the human body. This thin layer is made of special cells, the adamantoblasts, and covers the tooth crown. The enamel consists of fibrous prisms of the rare mineral hydroxyapatite. During maturation of the tooth, the enamel loses water and organic matter, and minerals such as calcium are stored instead. Fluorides further harden the enamel and increase its resistance to acids.
Danger for tooth enamel
- Acids that are secreted by bacteria and located in the plaque or in fine cracks of the tooth. They attack the tooth and remove calcium and phosphates from the mineral enamel. The enamel becomes porous, the acids can penetrate further and the tooth is damaged even in deeper layers. There is caries, an irreversible destruction of the tooth substance.
- Frequent contact with acids z. B. in soft drinks. Many soft drinks contain citric acid, which also attacks the enamel. As a result, erosions, caries-like destruction of the tooth, which can not be completely compensated by the saliva and the components contained therein.
- Overly intensive tooth brushing
- Enamel may shatter when biting on solid backrests.
- Since the enamel can no longer be formed anew, a loss of life remains.
In addition to a change in diet erosion or caries damage can be fought, especially in the emergence stage by the use of eg a fluoride toothpaste. But it is also important to have a proper toothbrushing technique. If the teeth are scrubbed with much force after the acid attack, this increases the abrasion of the upper tooth layers, which have become porous due to the acids. Instead, it is recommended to rinse your mouth with water or milk, for example, to dilute the acid and accelerate the replacement of dissolved minerals.