What Is Tooth Enamel and Why Is It Important?
Tooth enamel is the hard, shiny, white outer layer of your teeth that covers the underlying tissues.i, ii It’s the hardest substance in the human body – even stronger than bone – and is made up almost entirely of minerals. These minerals give enamel its strength so it can protect your teeth from damage and help keep them looking bright, white and healthy.ii
Even though it’s very strong, tooth enamel forms a thin layer over each tooth – so you need to take care of it.ii,viii
What Does Tooth Enamel Do?
Tooth enamel acts as a shield for the more sensitive inner tooth layer, called dentin.i Among other functions, it’s your teeth’s first line of defense against the harmful acids found in certain foods.iii
When you consume foods or drinks that are high in acid, they can wear away your enamel (this is known as ‘tooth erosion’). Over time, tooth erosion can expose the inner dentin in your tooth and potentially lead to tooth sensitivity.iii, iv
What Is Tooth Enamel Made Of?
Enamel made up of approximately 96% minerals, primarily calcium and phosphorus, that bond together to form hard crystallites. Approximately 1% of enamel is made up of proteins, while water makes up the remaining 4%. Tooth enamel has no blood or nerve supply within it.
Can Enamel Grow Back?
If your tooth enamel is destroyed, your body cannot repair it, which is why you should protect your enamel.i Unlike other parts of your body – your bones, for example – enamel does not contain any living cells, so it can’t regenerate.i
What Can Damage Your Tooth Enamel?
Enamel erosion can be caused by what you eat and drink, particularly:iv, v
- Acidic foods, such as tomatoes, citrus and dried fruits, and sour candies
- Sodas and sports drinks, which typically contain damaging acids in addition to sugar
Find out more about food and drinks that can cause enamel erosion.
There are many other conditions besides acid erosion that can cause tooth enamel loss.vi If you’re worried that your enamel might be damaged, speak to your dentist about the best course of action.
What Are the Signs of Tooth Enamel Loss?
Signs of tooth enamel loss are:
- Yellowing teeth – When enamel is worn away, the slightly yellow dentin layer underneath can sometimes become more visible.vii
- Generally worn down teeth – Erosion can wear down teeth’s biting edges.vii
- Increased sensitivity – As the protective enamel wears away, the underlying softer dentin layer can become exposed, causing tooth sensitivity.iii, vii
Learn more about how to repair acid-weakened enamel.
How Pronamel Protects Your Tooth Enamel
All Pronamel products contain an ingredient clinically proven to protect against the effects of acid erosion and actively help strengthen acid-weakened tooth enamel. Pronamel helps minerals penetrate deep into the enamel surface, strengthening and rehardening acid-weakened areas of enamel – making it stronger, healthier and better protected against the effects of everyday acids.
Find out where to buy Pronamel products.
i. Tooth. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/tooth. Accessed 20/01.20.
ii. 5 Reasons Your Smile Is Stronger Than You Think. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/fun-teeth-facts-part-2. Accessed 20/01/20.
iii. Diet and my teeth. Oral Health Foundation. https://www.dentalhealth.org/diet-and-my-teeth. Accessed 20/01/20.
iv. Dietary acids and your teeth. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/dietary-acids-and-your-teeth. Accessed 20/01/20.
v. The Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth. University of Rochester Medical School. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=4062. Accessed 20/01/20.
vi. Dental erosion. Better Health Channel, Victoria State Government. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/dental-erosion. Accessed 20/01/20.
vii. Dental erosion. Oral Health Foundation. https://www.dentalhealth.org/dental-erosion. Accessed 20/01/20.
viii. 5 Reasons your smile is stronger than you think. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/fun-teeth-facts-part-2. Accessed 11/16/21.