What Is Tooth Enamel?

Generally, when we think of crystalline structures within the human body, we think of things that need to be surgically removed, like kidney stones or gallstones. Crystals make us think of sharp rocks, jagged edges, and gnarly, cutting type things that have no place in our bodies. The one exception to this rule is our tooth enamel. One of the four substances that make up the human tooth, mature tooth enamel is actually composed of crystalline rods tightly compacted together.

Analyzing this enamel’s mineral components reveals the predominant make up of calcium phosphates, of which the most abundant is hydrated calcium called hydroxyapatite. There are isolated proteins in several different fractions, and these usually contain a high percentage of serine, glutamic acid and glycine. The enamel protein is structural, very special for their amino acid constituents and which has been called ammeline or enameling. Within the non-protein substances, there are also cited enamel citric acid also called citrates. The cells responsible for the formation of enamel are the ameloblasts.

Tooth enamel is mainly composed of small crystals of calcium phosphate. Eggs or egg shells are often used to replicate the tooth enamel due to its high content of calcium and its response to acids. However, the hardness of the enamel of the teeth is similar to glass, porcelain or window. It is actually the second hardest natural substance, only after diamonds. But glass and porcelain surfaces are softer than the enamel surface crystallized. Chicken bones also have high calcium content and are sometimes used to represent the tooth enamel. No other substance can really replica tooth enamel in hardness, however.

As mentioned, the tooth enamel is only a few millimeters thick, but it is the hardest tissue in the body. Enamel covers the crown or just the visible portion of the tooth. Tooth enamel resists hard bites and protects living tissue found in the inner layers of the tooth. If the gums rot away from the roots of the teeth from bacteria they can eat through the enamel to form a cavity, exposing the inside of the tooth dentin, which is easily decomposed.

The glaze itself is a white crystalline. Toddlers have a lot of surface texture in their coats of polish, so their teeth look whiter than permanent teeth. As adults age, the enamel wears. As translucent, as is worn, the color below shows through the top enamel. Dentin is yellow, grey, white or grey.

Despite its hardness, the enamel can be damaged by many things. If you break your tooth you need to us at ProCare Dentistry as soon as possible to avoid any further issues. Enamel it is not a living tissue and is not repaired automatically. Slim acids can destroy the enamel, so any substance that is highly acidic corrodes it. This includes soft drinks and even some fruit drinks. 

Diseases like acid reflux or bulimia can also bring stomach acid into the mouth. Of course, sugar and bacteria can cause enamel to fade and normal wear from chewing, grinding your teeth, and biting your nails or other hard objects will all wear the enamel of the teeth down.

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