About Enamel

Understanding Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is the hard, visible, outermost covering of your teeth. Enamel is translucent, giving teeth their sparkle, and depending on its thickness, it shows through the colour of the underlying dentine which varies from light yellow to a grey or blue-like white. It’s the hardest substance in the human body and contains a high percentage of minerals.

Tooth enamel explained

What Is Tooth Enamel Made Of?

95% Minerals
Primarily calcium and phosphate, tightly bound in a repeating lattice in the form of crystallites.

4% Water

1% Proteins

99% inorganic substances -
by comparison, bones are typically around 70% inorganic

Did you know?

Enamel has an average thickness of 2-3mm, yet it can effectively protect the sensitive inner layers of teeth from exposure to hot, cold and acidic foods that can lead to sensitivity.
Since tooth enamel contains no living cells, it lacks the ability to regrow. Once it’s lost, it cannot regenerate—leaving the softer layer underneath it less well protected. If damage is left to progress, it can be lost altogether in certain areas, exposing the underlying dentine.

Repeated intake of acidic food and drink is a leading cause of enamel wear. Many acidic foods and drinks that make up our everyday diets – like soft drinks, fruits and fruit juices and wine – can dissolve tooth enamel over time. This process is called acid erosion or erosive tooth wear.

Keeping enamel strong is important to maintaining good oral health. By taking simple steps every day, you can help manage the effects of acid erosion.