370 E South Temple, Ste 325 Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Did you know that enamel is the hardest substance in the human body? It’s a 5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, putting it on par with steel. For reference, a diamond, the hardest known substance on earth, ranks at a 10. For all its strength, however, enamel can weaken over time, leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay. Fortunately, it’s not a symptomless process, which means you may be able to catch the problem early enough to do something about it.

Yellowing

Enamel is what gives teeth their pearly white appearance. The dentin underneath is more yellow in color. When enamel weakens, the teeth tend to take on a more yellow look. They may also appear more translucent and dull. It’s worth noting that smoking and consuming certain foods and beverages can also have a yellowing effect on the teeth, so it’s worth checking to see if the yellowing is due to surface stains or weakened enamel.

Increased Sensitivity

Increased tooth sensitivity is one of the most common signs of weakened enamel. Enamel is strong and serves as a protective layer for the more sensitive inner layers of the tooth. If the enamel weakens, those inner layers become more exposed to temperature changes, which can register as pain or sensitivity. Even simply brushing your teeth or exposure to air can lead to sensitivity.

Damage or Decay

When enamel becomes weak, it is more prone to developing pits and cracks. This leaves the teeth more vulnerable to decay and further damage. If you notice cracks, pits, or discoloration in your teeth, it’s worth mentioning them to Dr. Updike the next time you come in. He’ll be able to take a closer look to see if it’s anything that needs to be addressed with immediacy or if it’s just something to keep an eye on for now. Reduce your risk of damage and decay as much as possible by following best hygiene practices like brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, flossing at least once, and regularly attending dental appointments.

It’s important to pay attention to signs that your enamel has weakened. If you’re able to catch the demineralization early enough, it may be possible to remineralize your enamel, restoring its strength. Talk to Dr. Updike if you have any questions or concerns about the health of your enamel.

At South Temple Dental, we believe that quality dental care goes beyond a simple cleaning and exam. Click here to see all the services we offer to help you keep your teeth healthy and strong your whole life long.