There is an increased amount of awareness, thanks in part to the efforts of dentists, to explain to people and make them understand just how important the enamel actually is. The enamel is the protective outer shell that protects the teeth. Without the enamel, the teeth would sustain serious amounts of damage and an increased amount of risk for infection.
What exactly is tooth enamel?
Tooth enamel is the substance that forms a shell around the top of every tooth. It is an extraordinarily hard substance that is specifically designed to protect the teeth from damage. The enamel is a shield that protects the vulnerable area on the side of the teeth which can sustain damage due to decay.
It is difficult to see enamel because it is translucent, which means that light is allowed to pass through it. The main portion of the tooth, known as the dentin, is actually the part responsible for a person’s tooth color. People develop stained teeth when there is discoloration in the dentin.
Why is tooth enamel so important?
Protecting a person’s enamel is one of the primary functions that dentists take seriously. Every time a person puts something into their mouth, bites or chews, there is a risk of damaging the teeth. It is only the strength of the enamel that stops the teeth from breaking apart.
Despite being an extraordinarily hard surface, enamel can easily sustain damage. Once the enamel sustains damage, it allows for decay or other problems to lead to additional damage to the underlying tooth. When the enamel wears out, chips or is broken, there is nothing standing between the bacteria in the mouth and the easily susceptible tooth from terrible infections.
Another critical function that the enamel performs is insulating the incisor teeth from potentially painful changes in temperature, or chemicals. Although enamel is a hard protector of the teeth, it is prone to chipping and cracking. Once enamel sustains damage, the body has no means of repairing itself. Since the enamel has no living cells and the body cannot go to work repairing chips or cracks in the enamel.
Protect the enamel
It is critically important to protect the enamel. This is essentially the first step in protecting the teeth themselves from conditions like decay, gum disease, periodontal disease and other conditions that may result in severe infections, chronic pain or even tooth loss.
To learn more about tooth enamel, its importance and how to best protect it, give us a call and schedule an appointment today to see a dentist.