Fluoride varnish can be applied every few months at a low cost to give your teeth a dental enamel boost. Many patients have this treatment in conjunction with their regular dental cleanings. Dr. Jamie Alexander of Boynton Beach, Florida can also advise you about oral hygiene products that help re-mineralize and desensitize your teeth.
Over-the-counter kinds of toothpaste containing calcium phosphate products are now available that contain a synthetic mineral composed of calcium, sodium, phosphorous and silica. When this material binds to the tooth surface, it not only strengthens the tooth surface but also releases the synthetic mineral into the dental enamel when the tooth is exposed to acids. This has been proven effective for making teeth less sensitive and for re-mineralizing enamel lesions. Sensodyne Pronamel is a well-known brand of toothpaste for sensitive teeth, but there are others, including Age Defying Toothpaste by Arm and Hammer and Colgate Enamel Health. When you read the toothpaste product labels, look for the ingredient amorphous calcium phosphate.
You should also make sure you are minimizing acidic foods and beverages, and clean your mouth thoroughly after eating and drinking. If you are doing this while receiving regular fluoride treatments and using remineralization toothpaste, your enamel will rebuild and become less sensitive. Some of the foods and beverages that are surprisingly acidic are sugar-free drinks and candy. Foods that stick to the grooves of your teeth foster the bacterial production of acid. Snacking on even non-sugary carbohydrates like potato chips can be a problem if you are not brushing your teeth after snacking. Chewing on ice easily causes fine fissures to develop in enamel, as does chewing hard foods such as popcorn kernels.
If dental enamel erosion or crazing has progressed to the point where teeth are significantly damaged, restorative treatment will be needed to save them. Composite bonding, crowns, and porcelain veneers are all options. The sooner we can help you get this under control and addressed, the more conservative will be your treatment needs.
Sufferers of bulimia and acid reflux are a special category of patients whose teeth may become significantly damaged despite steps taken to re-mineralize teeth. Getting the underlying cause of erosion under control is the first step. Dr. Alexander can help you sort out what is causing your enamel erosion and sensitivity and seek the medical care and support systems you need to ensure dental treatments are a success. In these cases, the outer surfaces of teeth usually need to be encased with protective porcelain. With compassion and individualized treatment, Dr. Alexander can help you with this as well.