The dentin sits just underneath your enamel, the outer layer of your tooth structure. When the dentin is exposed, it can be problematic for some time, especially when it comes to your smile. The dentin isn’t as hard as the enamel and contains nerve endings to connect to the pulp. If you begin to experience sensitivity when eating hot and cold foods or generally around the mouth, the dentin is exposed.
How The Dentin Is Exposed
There are several reasons dentin becomes exposed. Here are some of the common causes:
Brushing your teeth with too much force is not the best idea. This is also the case if you’re using a hard bristle toothbrush. When you scrub repeatedly with a hard toothbrush, this can abrade the enamel and expose the underlying dentin. The enamel is thin along the gumline and can easily get damaged. The dentist always recommends using a soft-bristle brush and brush gently in a circular motion. Read here to learn more.
Teeth grinding is a condition that involves your upper and lower teeth clenching and grinding together, causing wear-and-tear, chips and cracks. The condition is commonly caused by stress and malocclusion but also occurs during sleep. Over time, the protective layer of the enamel will get thinner and the dentin will become exposed.
Discolouration occurs through intrinsic staining which is naturally caused by tannins, a property contained in drinks such as coffee, wine, tea and foods such as strawberries, dark berries, peaches and dry fruits. The dentin is exposed through these tannins, causing your teeth to show a yellow colour.
If you don’t brush and floss your teeth and gums regularly, food debris will remain stuck in between your teeth and this accumulates dental plaque, a substance filled with bacteria that coats your teeth. Eventually, you’ll begin to experience a condition that’s known as gingivitis. This progressively becomes worse and your gums will recede (pull back) and expose you to inflammation and infection.
What Are The Prevention Tips?
If your dentin is exposed, or you’re in danger of it, there are many prevention tips you can take right now to keep your enamel strong.
- Consult your dentist for a dental mouthguard. A mouthguard will place a gap between your upper and lower teeth to prevent teeth grinding and give you a comfortable nights sleep
- Continue to brush and floss your teeth twice a day so that the bacteria in the mouth is dispersed and your mouth remains clean
- Start using a soft-bristle brush to brush your teeth with. Gently brush your teeth and gums in a circular motion so the bristles on your toothbrush can accumulate any bacteria
- Reduce sugar and acid intake within your food and drink, and replace these properties with healthy options containing calcium and phosphate, such as vegetables, boiled potato, soya and nuts.