Enamel Erosion: Causes and symptoms

Last Updated June 2021

There are a number of habits that can hurt your mouth on a daily basis, but look for these 3 things that could hurt your teeth:

1. Chewing on Objects

Most of us at some point have had the urge to chew on a bottle cap or pen, but doing so can spell trouble for your teeth.

2. Opening Wrappers with Teeth

From crisp bags to sweet wrappers, we've all had to use our teeth to open packages when scissors aren't around. But for the sake of your teeth, avoid doing this and take the extra time it takes to find a tool other than your teeth to open the package.

3. Grinding Your Teeth

Some people grind their teeth, either while awake or sleeping. When you grind your teeth back and forth, this can wear them down, as can clenching your teeth. Grinding also wears down enamel, opening the door to tooth decay. If you are struggling with grinding and clenching, ask your dentist if a mouth guard may be a good option for you.


Enamel is the strongest surface in the body. It should feel firm and strong but can also be worn away over time due to eating highly acidic foods and drinking acidic beverages. If you’re less than confident when biting into hard, raw veggies such as carrots, check out these symptoms to see if your tooth enamel may be wearing away, leaving your teeth vulnerable to everything from chips and cracks to cavities:

SIGN #1: Dents on Teeth

If you start to notice indentations on your teeth, which can be referred to by your dentist as cupping, this could signal that tooth enamel has eroded.

SIGN #2: Yellowish Teeth

Another symptom that indicates that enamel may be wearing away is a yellowish colour of the teeth, which happens when more of the dentin (or the hard, dense, bony tissue forming the bulk of a tooth beneath the enamel) within the tooth is exposed (dentin has a natural yellowish colour).

SIGN #3: Chipped Teeth

If you start to see tiny chips and cracks in your teeth, this could be another red alert that the enamel on your teeth is eroding and your teeth are becoming weaker and less able to withstand biting and chewing without getting nicked.

SIGN #4: Sensitivity

If your teeth are becoming more sensitive over time, especially to extreme temperatures, like breathing in cold air, or drinking beverages such as hot teas and coffee or cool ice-water, then this could be a signal that your enamel is being stripped, making your teeth more vulnerable to decay.