Biological factors - Enamel

Composition:

  • Enamel contains hydroxyapatite, which is not completely saturated with calcium.
  • Under normal conditions, saliva brings additional ions (calcium, phosphate and carbonate ions) into the oral cavity and creates a pH neutral environment for the teeth, within which enamel is hard and protects the dentine.


Consequences of an acid attack:

  • Hydrogen ions dissolve tooth mineral crystals to combine with either the carbonate ions or the phosphate ions, leading to demineralisation.
  • Demineralised enamel is more prone to tooth wear.

Remineralisation of the enamel is limited to softened enamel and often requires external measures such as stannous and/or fluoride-containing dental rinses.
You may consider recommending patients to increase their intake of foods containing calcium and phosphate, such as cheese.