Do the bottoms of your two front teeth seem to be clear? Translucent teeth are one of the many signs that your tooth enamel exhibits in cases of erosion and are some cause for concern. In this article we are going to discuss them in detail so that you can know exactly what is going on that is causing your teeth to look like this as well as an understanding of what you can do about it. Let’s discuss the ins and outs of translucent teeth!
Are those teeth supposed to be translucent?
Have you ever eaten a jawbreaker candy and successfully bitten it in half? Like this candy, your tooth is not a solid piece, but rather consists of a set of layers. The outermost layer is your first line of defense and commonly known as your tooth enamel. Underneath this protective layer is your dentin. This comes in three colors, those being yellow, white, or grey. A combination of the dentin and your enamel decide the overall color of the tooth. Thus when your enamel is thinned enough and the dentin color contributes you end up with the appearance of a translucent tooth.
Can you restore tooth enamel?
Once your tooth enamel is gone, unfortunately, it cannot be replaced. You can, however, employ the use of toothpastes which re-mineralize the enamel to strengthen what you have left and you can also modify your diet to include less acidic foods in order to help to reduce the damage that is being done to your enamel. Alternately, a travel toothbrush that you use immediately after acidic meals can help as well if you simply cannot live without those acidic, yet delicious meals that sometimes come our way. Some further things that you can do to help in the re-mineralization process are as follows:
- Add more calcium to your diet.
- Reduce your intake of dairy products.
- Switch to sugar free gum if you chew gum.
- Moderate your fruit intake, those sugars count too!
- Add probiotics to your diet
If you cannot rebuild them, can you whiten translucent teeth?
A chemical whitening is not going to be an option, however, bonding and veneers are two examples of cosmetic dentistry that can restore those pearly whites to their former glory. Check with your dentist to see if one of these or another cosmetic option might be a good fit for you.
What happens if I do not treat a case of translucent teeth?
As it is a case of the protective layer or your teeth wearing down, beyond the cosmetics of the issue you may find your teeth becoming more damaged and likely more sensitive to hot and cold drinks as the erosion progresses. Your enamel is your first line of defense and as such, it is highly recommended that you address this issue as soon as possible.
What causes tooth enamel erosion, anyways?
Tooth enamel can be affected by a number of factors. The most common causes of a breakdown in tooth enamel are as follows:
- Dry mouth – A dry mouth can be a bad thing when it comes to the health of your tooth enamel. Vitamin C might help, as it stimulates the production of saliva according to some studies.
- Too many soft drinks – All that sugar is a bad idea when it comes to the integrity of your teeth. Switching to the non-sugar versions may help but you will want to find out the sweetener that is being used to see if it is better or worse for your teeth! Remember, zero calories doesn’t mean zero cavities.
“Remember, zero calories doesn’t mean zero cavities.”
- Gastrointestinal issues – Gastrointestinal distress can increase the overall acidity in your mouth and thus erode your enamel. Check with your doctor if you think that this might be an issue and there may be some medication that can help to make you feel better AND help with that enamel.
- Sugar and Starch – Too much sugar and starch in your diet can be bad for your enamel as well. Try adding a little variety in your diet that is less sugary and cut down on so many starches.
- Acid reflux – If you have acid reflux then this can contribute to the issue as well. Be sure that you are taking any prescribed medication for this in order to rule this one out.
- Genetics – Some families may have a pre-disposition to stronger or weaker tooth enamel. Check with your dentist if you have a well-known history of enamel erosion in your family and you begin some preventative maintenance while taking advantage of their dental expertise.
Other causes of translucent teeth
It should be noted that translucent teeth can also be a by-product of two specific conditions. These conditions are:
- Enamel Hypoplasia – Enamel Hypoplasia is a development issue with your teeth that affects their mineralization. Without the proper mineralization, your enamel develops less efficiently and thus is more susceptible to erosion, thus causing translucent teeth.
- Celiac disease – Celiac disease is a condition where the small intestine is hypersensitive in regards to gluten and it can cause a number of issues. Included among them are enamel defects and development defects in dentition, learing to more vulnerable teeth in affected adults and children.
In today’s article we have explored the phenomenon of translucent teeth. While it appears harmless, if you are experiencing this symptom then we would recommend visiting your dentist and taking some preventative measures as described in this article in order to combat the issue. Your tooth enamel is important and while it is technically a tissue, it is not a tissue that is living. This means that you will not be able to regenerate it. You can, however, conserve and strengthen the enamel that you currently have. So take advantage of these tips, brush and floss regular, and take care of that smile so that it can last a lifetime!