Erosion occurs when the tooth enamel is washed away by an acid attack. The enamel is the hard, protective layer of the tooth, which protects the dentine. When the enamel is worn away, the dentine underneath gets exposed, which causes sensitivity and pain.
What are the primary signs of dental erosion?
Early signs of erosion include sensitivity to cold and heat, drinks, or acidic foods. Also, you may see general wearing away of the biting edges and hollows in the teeth surface.
What Causes Dental Erosion?
The leading cause of dental erosion is the excessive consumption of acidic drinks and foods. Usually, when you drink or eat something acidic, your saliva cancels out the acidity and restores the natural pH in the mouth. However, if the acid attack occurs too often, your mouth doesn’t get the time to repair itself, which means bits of your enamel are brushed away.
Also, people with esophageal problems or those who drink too much alcohol may suffer from dental erosion due to many instances of vomiting. Vomits have a high level of acid, which can damage tooth enamel.
Are there foods that can lower the chances of getting dental erosion?
Acidity is expressed in pH value – anything with a pH value lower than 5.5 can cause dental erosion. Acidic drinks such as fruit juices, especially citrus ones such as orange and mango, contain natural acids that can damage your teeth’ enamel.
Still, unflavored water is the best drink for your teeth. Milk also helps to balance out acids in the mouth.
Can sports drink cause dental erosion?
Many sports drinks have a lower pH and are thus unhealthy for your enamel. However, if you’re an athlete, you may need to turn to water as dehydration can cause bad breath and a dry mouth.
How can I prevent dental erosion?
· Take acidic food and drinks at mealtimes. This reduces instances of acid attacks on your teeth
· Drink your fizzy drinks quickly. Swishing it around your mouth increases contact with your teeth. If you’d like to take it slowly, use a straw.
· Drink milk or eat cheese after finishing your meals to cancel out the acid
· Chew sugar-free gum. This encourages the production of saliva, which cancels out acids in your mouth
· Wait for at least one hour after drinking or eating something acidic to give your teeth time to build up their protective cover
· Brush teeth at least twice a day. Once during the day and the last thing at night. Make sure to use fluoride toothpaste
· Do not rinse your mouth after brushing. Let fluoride stay on your teeth
Is there something else I should use?
In addition to brushing, your dental team may give you fluoride-containing mouthwash.
Can dental erosion be treated?
In most cases, your teeth can repair themselves. However, if the problem has worsened, your dental team may bond a filling onto the teeth to repair it. In severe cases, you may get veneers fitted. If you need to learn more about how to prevent dental erosion or need treatment, we are here to help.
If you are looking for a dentist, HPS Advanced Dental Care would love to see you. Dr. Heather is gladly accepting new patients.
We are located at 4741 24 Mile Rd. Shelby Township, MI 48316, and we can be reached at (248) 652-0024. We look forward to meeting you!