If your teeth are prone to wear and tear despite proper oral hygiene, you may have what is colloquially known as “soft teeth,” says family dentist Dr. Tamatha C. Pantano, DMD.
Those with soft teeth are more likely to complain about cavities, toothaches, and tooth sensitivity, among other things. Their teeth may also look different from normal teeth and have unusual features such as chalky or brown spots.
The truth is “soft teeth” is a bit of a misnomer as there’s no condition that makes teeth soft. What people call “soft teeth” are teeth whose enamel has become susceptible to damage.
What causes “soft teeth”?
Enamel can be weakened by a variety of issues, such as acid reflux and acid indigestion (a.k.a. heartburn), which can regurgitate stomach acid into the mouth. The acid erodes the enamel, causing damage worse than what soda, sugar, and other cavity-causing substances are capable of.
Other problems that can damage enamel and contribute to weaker teeth include the following:
- Poor oral health
- Tooth decay
- Trauma to teeth
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Poor nutrition
- Hormonal imbalances
- Baby teeth infections
Though far less likely, it’s also possible to develop weaker teeth over time. This may happen when your teeth are damaged—by any of the issues in the above list—during their development. It’s extremely unlikely to develop weaker teeth when you’re older.
Contrary to misconceptions, your teeth don’t become weaker due to adult diabetes, adult allergies, pregnancy, or breastfeeding.
How to keep your teeth healthy and strong
Keep your teeth strong and prevent cavities by maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Floss once or more times a day.
- Brush and floss properly for a thorough cleaning, and to ensure no damage comes to your gums and teeth.
- Limit your intake of foods that can harm your teeth, such as those high in starch and sugar.
- Drink more water than juices and sodas. Water rinses the mouth of bacteria and bits of food.
- See your dentist regularly. They can spot a potential problem before it grows worse and helps you with any oral health issues you’re already experiencing.
Do you think to have “soft teeth”? If so, your dentist at Audubon Dental Center can help. If you have any inquiries or are ready to make an appointment, please feel free to contact us via our website, or at (301) 856-1122. If you’d like to know how else we can help you, please browse our list of available services.