Tooth Enamel Facts

The topmost layer of the tooth, enamel is the hard substance which covers the soft layer of dentin. A strong layer of enamel will help you prevent tooth decay and sensitivity. Get to know the part of your tooth which protects your smile from cavities with some interesting facts from Dr. Fondriest.

Sharks have tooth enamel on their scales.

Placiod scales, or dermal denticles, are also found on rays and other cartilaginous fish. The scales are like tiny teeth which include dentin layers, and pulp, just like human teeth. Over time, the scales do not get bigger, but scales fall out and more scales grow as the shark grows in a process somewhat like losing baby teeth. Studies show that the dermal denticles allow sharks to swim more efficiently and quietly than fish without placiod scales.

Enamel is the hardest tissue produced by the body.

With a 5 on the Mohs hardness scale, which measures scratch resistance, enamel ranks just above platinum. Tooth enamel is half as scratch resistant as a diamond. TMJ disorder and bruxism, or teeth grinding causes enamel erosion because the enamel of one tooth scratches another. With a thin layer of enamel, the sensitive dentin of the tooth receives more sensations with extreme temperature causing discomfort with eating hot or cold foods.

Minerals compose 96 percent of tooth enamel, making enamel the most highly mineralized substance in the body.

Since enamel does not contain living tissue, the body cannot reproduce enamel once it is lost to tooth decay or excessive wear from teeth grinding or clenching. Fortunately, fluoride treatments aide in remineralizing the enamel to build back strength. Fluoride treatments can be applied in a variety of ways. Topical fluoride treatments work the best for remineralizing the enamel since tooth enamel is not connected to the blood stream.

Enamel is semi-translucent with a slightly yellowish to grayish white color.

Because enamel is mostly translucent, the color of the dentin is the main factor for the coloration of your teeth. Whitening treatments can sometimes lighten the shade of dentin. Enamel is more opaque in primary teeth, causing children’s teeth to generally appear whiter than adults’ teeth.

Come visit to learn more tooth enamel facts

If you are worried about the strength of your enamel, Dr. Fondriest can help. Fluoride treatments build back mineral integrity. At your next dental cleaning in Chicago, ask about steps to take to protect your enamel. To schedule an appointment at our Chicago dentist office, contact us at (847) 234-0517.

The clinical outcomes that Dr. Fondriest has created has earned him a national reputation in Cosmetic Dentistry and Prosthodontics.  He serves clients from throughout the United States.