It’s important to pay attention to how your teeth look. Not only can this save you from showing up to that important business meeting with spinach wedged between your teeth, or help you dazzle your date with a quick whitening treatment, it could help you spot important oral conditions. At Dr. Craig Armstrong’s Houston dental practice, our team is here to answer any and all of your tooth-related questions. If you notice something different about your pearly whites in the mirror, we recommend that you come in and see us for a consultation. We are dedicated to keeping our patients informed and healthy. In the following blog, we answer the question: why are my teeth transparent at the bottom?
Elements of Enamel Erosion
Your teeth have several layers. The outermost layer is the enamel, which protects the inner portion of the tooth and gives the tooth its lustrous look. Enamel is both vital and vulnerable. As Michele Borboa explains in her SheKnows Health & Wellness article, “though tooth enamel, the thin but sturdy calcified material covering your teeth is the hardest and most mineralized substance in your body, it isn’t indestructible.” In certain circumstances, enamel can begin to wear away, leading to a variety of symptoms, from “sensitive teeth” to “cracks,” cavities, discoloration, “rounded edges,” and—you guessed it “transparent-looking tips of the teeth.” Fundamentally, your teeth are transparent at the bottom because your enamel is eroding.
The Clear Causes
Okay, so we’ve established that your teeth are turning translucent because your enamel is eroding, but what is causing this damage? There are a few common culprits, which include:
- Dietary behaviors. WebMD notes that a diet “high in sugar and starches” can wear down your enamel. Furthermore, “excessive soft drink consumption” can damage your teeth, since these beverages have “high levels of phosphoric and citric acids.” While they might seem healthy, “fruit drinks” can also be the a source of erosion, since “some acids in fruit drinks are more erosive than battery acid.”
- Medical conditions. “Acid reflux disease” or “GERD” and other “gastrointestinal problems can make your mouth more acidic, damaging your enamel. Similarly, Colgate Oral Care Center reports: “conditions like Celiac disease can result in poor enamel development, which gives your teeth a translucent appearance as a result.”
- Xerostomia. Also known as dry mouth, this conditions indicates insufficient salivary flow. You may not realize it, but your spit naturally cleans your mouth, rinsing away particulate matter and fighting cavities with special enzymes.
- Congenital factors. WebMD explains that “inherited conditions” can predispose you to enamel erosion.
- Some medications. Antihistamines and aspirins can wear down your enamel.
- Some “environmental factors” including “friction, wear and tear, stress, and corrosion.” Habits like grinding your teeth together and regularly chewing on rough foods could eat at your enamel.
If you’re teeth seem translucent lately, one or more of the above factors could be the reason why.
How We Can Help
Dr. Armstrong and I are here to help with transparent teeth and other issues. We can consult with you to determine the root cause of this issue and create a customized treatment plan to help you remedy it. For example, if dietary issues are causing your enamel to erode, we can help you slow this process and prevent further damage at your biannual cleaning and examination appointments. If thinning enamel is making you self-conscious about your smile’s appearance, Dr. Armstrong can also perform cosmetic dentistry treatments to enhance the appearance of your teeth.
Contact Our Houston Dental Practice Today
Do you have questions about the appearance of your smile? Are your teeth becoming transparent? Dr. Armstrong and our Houston dental team are here to help. Contact us today to find out more and schedule an appointment!