Father and son brushing teeth in front of mirror

Can You Regrow Your Tooth Enamel?

Tooth enamel is the layer around our teeth that makes them strong. Made of 96 percent mineral, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body.1 Although tooth enamel is resistant to damage, it contains no living tissue: the body can’t regrow tooth enamel.2 Because enamel can’t be regenerated, it’s important to know what causes enamel erosion and how to protect your teeth against it.

What is Enamel Erosion and How Does it Happen?

Enamel erosion, sometimes referred to as tooth erosion, is when your tooth enamel wears away over time.3 Enamel erosion can be caused by acidic foods in our diet. Foods that are high in acidic content include citrus fruits and juices, soda, pickles and vinegar.3 Low acidity foods and beverages such as milk, bread, avocadoes and bananas are much less likely to damage to your enamel.3

Symptoms of Enamel Erosion

A sign you may experience from enamel erosion is discoloration, when teeth begin to appear more yellow. When enamel wears away, it exposes the yellow inner layer of the tooth, called dentin. This can also lead to tooth sensitivity that’s felt when you consume extremely hot or cold foods and drinks.3

Prevention and Treatment Methods

Although enamel cannot regenerate on its own, there are ways to prevent further erosion and actively repair acid-weakened enamel:

  • Be mindful of what foods and beverages are highly acidic and how you’re consuming them. Although highly acidic foods can damage your enamel, many fruits and vegetables that are high in acidity are beneficial to your health and should not be taken out of your diet. If you consume highly acidic foods or beverages, be sure to rinse your mouth with water afterwards.3
  • When drinking highly acidic beverages, use a straw to minimize contact between the teeth and acid.3
  • Chew on sugar-free gum to boost saliva flow. Saliva helps strengthen the teeth with important minerals.3 Alternatively, drink water frequently throughout the day to boost moisture and wash away acids.
  • Use a toothpaste like Pronamel Intensive Enamel Repair, which delivers fluoride and minerals to help strengthen acid weakened enamel, while protecting teeth from further damage from acidic foods and drinks.

If you are starting to experience early symptoms of enamel erosion, talk to your dentist for the best way to prevent further damage. Find a dental provider who can treat enamel-related issues at affordable rates.

Source Citations:

  1. 5 Reasons Your Smile Is Stronger Than You Think. MouthHealthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/5-reasons-your-smile-is-stronger-than-you-think/. Accessed 6/21/2023.
  2. Enamel Regeneration - Current Progress and Challenges. National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4226000/. Accessed 6/21/2023.
  3. Erosion: What You Eat and Drink Can Impact Teeth. MouthHealthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/all-topics-a-z/dietary-acids-and-your-teeth/. Accessed 6/21/2023.
  4. What is Tooth Erosion? Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. https://ostrowonline.usc.edu/tooth-erosion/. Accessed 6/21/2023.
The Composition of a Tooth

What Is Tooth Enamel?

Tooth enamel—the white part of your teeth—cannot be restored once it’s been worn away. Learn what can wear enamel or cause it to erode.

Woman Holding an Acidic Orange Showing her Strong and White Enamel

What Causes Tooth Wear?

Tooth wear is common. Learn more about the different causes of tooth wear and how you can protect your teeth.

Cleaning Toothbrush

How to Reharden and Strengthen Enamel

Once enamel is gone, it’s gone. However, if your enamel is weakened by dietary acids, it can be rehardened.