The more we learn about teeth, the more we are amazed by them. Consider tooth enamel. This single component of our teeth has plenty of impressive features! So, let’s discuss some of the qualities of tooth enamel that make it so fascinating.
Structure of Tooth Enamel
About ninety-six percent of tooth enamel consists of hydroxylapatite, a form of calcium phosphate. That high percentage makes tooth enamel the strongest substance in your body, even stronger than bone! It resists scratches better than steel. Enamel is more brittle, however, and with enough impact it can chip or crack. When you add the average two hundred pounds of pressure from a human bite, you can understand why some people are tempted to use their tooth enamel like vice grips, but it’s very important you never do this — the next interesting feature will explain why.
Teeth Cannot Heal on Their Own
If you get a scrape or cut, your skin and muscle repair themselves. If you break a bone, it can be set and repaired so it’s as good as new. But if you chip or crack a tooth, it cannot repair itself. (For more on the differences between bone and teeth, see this article.) Likewise, if you lose a permanent tooth, you won’t grow a replacement. The only way to repair these issues is with help from trained, experienced professionals, like the staff at the Yuba City Dentistry Group. We offer several options for tooth fixing, including caps, crowns, or fillings to restore the look and function of your teeth — depending on severity, patient health, and other factors.
Your Teeth Last Longer Than You
The durability of enamel allows teeth to remain intact for thousands of years. Much of the information we have on early cultures comes from dental clues. Using odontology — the study of tooth structure — archaeologists determine things about diet, medical practices, social structures, and even migration movements from ancient teeth. The wear and shape of teeth, as well as early examples of inlays and dental procedures, provide a wealth of information on how humanity lived and spread during prehistoric times. In a thousand years, what will your teeth say about you?
Enamel Is Durable, Not Indestructible
Tooth enamel provides a strong barrier against over three hundred kinds of bacteria in the average human mouth, but those bacteria keep up the battle all through your life. Without reinforcements, your enamel loses the battle and begins to decay. Also, tartar buildup affects the integrity of your tooth enamel. These are some of the primary reasons that a consistent routine of oral hygiene is so important! Brushing and flossing twice a day significantly reduces the levels of harmful bacteria in your mouth. Fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash bolsters your enamel by speeding up a process called remineralization, helping to resist tooth decay.
With proper oral hygiene and semi-annual dental checkups with the Yuba City Dentistry Group, your amazing enamel will stay intact, strong and healthy. We’d be happy to tell you more about it at your next visit. If you haven’t scheduled one already, you can do so by giving us a call or filling out our online form. We’ll make sure your tooth enamel gives you reason to smile.