How Normal exactly is translucency in teeth?
In many cases, translucency can be COMPLETELY normal, natural, and hey, BEAUTIFUL TOO! I often forget that us dentists adore translucency, but that sentiment is rarely shared by most of the general public. In fact, I’ve found that the general public assumes that translucency is a sign that something is wrong. And although translucency CAN be a naturally occuring anatomical feature of your tooth, it can certainly also be a sign that there is too much enamel wear.
Here are 3 major reasons that result in excessive enamel wear:
- EROSION – Enamel wear stemming from acid. This acid can originate from stomach acids (GERD, BULIMIA) or acids from diet (EXCESSIVE CITRUS, ACIDIC SODAS, ETC)
- ABRASION – Enamel wear from outside elements, such as over aggressive toothbrushing
- ATTRITION – Enamel wear from tooth on tooth wear, such as from teeth grinding
USUALLY, translucency that is *not normal* occurs as a combination of a few of these. For example, the teeth may have been exposed to acid first, making the enamel less resistant to wear. Then if you decide to bite your finger nails, enamel will wear much more rapidly.
So as you can see, translucency can be quite normal. But it can also be a sign that your enamel is thinning.
This is why it is important to have a dentist take a look at the tooth and determine the cause of the translucency. Hopefully, it is just a beautiful part of your tooth anatomy!
Hope this helps!
Dr. Joyce Kahng