If you have a permanent tooth tattoo that you want to get rid of, speak to your dentist. Although removing the tattoo from your tooth enamel is often considered impossible, a dentist can remove the tattoo with a grinding tool, as well as restore your tooth with a dental crown or veneer. But it may take time to do so if your tooth enamel is too weak and damaged from the tattoo. Until you see your dentist for care, here's what you should know about the tattoo's effects on your tooth, and what you can do to strengthen your tooth enamel.
What Happens to Your Tooth Enamel When You Have a Tooth Tattoo?
Dentists typically use dental drills to etch and sculpt thin indentations on the surfaces of teeth crowns to create the tattoos. Even with careful brushing each day, food particles can build up inside the fine etchings, attract bacteria and weaken the enamel over time. In addition, the original placement of your tooth tattoo may make it prone to bacteria. For instance:
- The dentist who placed the tattoo may have drilled too deeply into the enamel during the placement of the tattoo.
- The ink leaked out of the tattoo's etchings and spread beneath the enamel.
- The dentist placed the tattoo on a tooth that already had weak tooth enamel.
Eventually, the bacteria release dangerous acids that prevent your tooth enamel from absorbing and using calcium and vitamin D. As a result, the enamel beneath and around your tooth tattoo breaks down. Once you lose tooth enamel to acid, you can't grow it back.
You may hear about ways to rebuild your lost tooth enamel with different types of enamel-building products, such as toothpaste with calcium. Although these products can strengthen the top layer of your enamel with calcium, they may not have the actual ability to replenish the minerals lost by your tattooed tooth.
How Do You Get Extra Calcium and Vitamin D?
Preventing the future loss of vitamin D and calcium in your tattooed tooth is the best way to protect it from bacteria and tooth decay, as well as strengthen it after demineralization. Demineralization refers to the natural loss of minerals in the body's teeth and bones. You can strengthen and replenish your tooth enamel simultaneously by eating calcium and vitamin D rich foods, as well as by taking nutrients prescribed by your dentist before your appointment. These methods can remineralize or add minerals to your tooth enamel safely.
What Should You Eat?
You may want to eat plenty of yogurt, drink low-fat milk and snack on cheese slices to help reinforce your tooth enamel with calcium and vitamin D. Eating apples and carrots each day may also provide protection against bacteria growth as well. Additionally, the hard textures of apples and carrots can remove bacteria from your tooth tattoo as you chew them.
Try to drink 64 ounces of water each day to hydrate the cells in your body. Healthy cells may fight off bacteria in your mouth, as well as keep your mouth moist with saliva.
What Types of Supplements Should You Take?
Unless the dentist prescribes FDA-approved calcium or vitamin D supplements to help strengthen your tooth enamel, avoid taking over-the-counter vitamins during your remineralization phase. Some OTC supplements aren't FDA-approved. The FDA or Food and Drug Administration makes sure that consumer products, such as food, drugs and supplements, are safe for you to use with or without a prescription.
Your dentist may check your tooth a few weeks later to see if the enamel increased in thickness. If so, your provider will schedule the tattoo removal and follow-up placement of your dental crown or veneer.
If you have any other questions about rebuilding your tooth enamel before your tattoo removal, contact your dental office today.