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Covering Worn or Eroded Dentin​

Covering Worn or Eroded Dentin

Covering worn or eroded enamel or dentin is an extremely important dental procedure. The deeper the exposed layer, the more trouble your tooth can get into. The earlier we catch a potential problem, the more effective the solution can be and the healthier we can keep your smile.

 

What is Dentin?

Dentin is the substance that not only gives your teeth their color, but also supports the structure of the tooth. But let’s start at the top.

The outermost layer of your tooth is the enamel. The translucent enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and protects our teeth from sensitivity. Under the enamel is the dentin, which is much softer than enamel but still supports the structure of the tooth. Within the dentin are thousands of nerve endings that connect to the pulp of the tooth.

The pulp contains the nerve fiber that thinks everything is pain. We don’t want to get down to the pulp. So, if your enamel is wearing away and you have exposed dentin, it’s especially important to cover it up and prevent the excruciating pain that can come from exposed pulp.

Causes of Exposed Dentin

Because we use our teeth so often and they’re always in our mouths with saliva flowing, there are many things that can cause enamel to wear down to the dentin.

  • Grinding can lead to thinning enamel over a long period of time. If you have issues with grinding, talk to us about a bite plate.
  • Gum recession can expose thinner layers of teeth and make you more susceptible to worn enamel. Brushing and flossing twice a day, along with regular cleanings and exams [links to: Cleaning & Oral Exams page], are the best ways to fight gum recession.
  • Brushing too hard, especially with hard bristles, can gradually wear down enamel. Brush gently with a non-abrasive toothpaste.
  • Heartburn can put stomach acid in your mouth, which can erode enamel.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Exposed Dentin

The earlier we see the signs of worn enamel or dentin, the less invasive the solution. Ideally, we can fight worn enamel with:

  • A toothpaste made for sensitive teeth
  • Softer bristles or gentler brushing
  • Fluoride gel application
  • Inlays, onlays or crowns

Surgical Treatments for Exposed Dentin

In certain cases, surgical treatments will be necessary to cover the dentin. If you’ve lost gum tissue near the root, a surgical gum graft can help protect the root and reduce sensitivity.

The last resort for exposed dentin is a root canal. If the other treatments haven’t worked and you still have lingering pain and sensitivity, a root canal could be your best option.

How to Avoid Worn Dentin

The best way to prevent worn enamel and dentin is to gently brush and floss twice daily. Maintaining good oral health every day is the best way to prevent all dental problems.

We’re Ready to Help You

At Cajon Dental, everything we do is centered on you, your health and your experience.