Posted by SHEFFIELD SQUARE DENTAL CARE on Jul 11 2017, 07:17 AM
Dental erosion refers to the weakening of tooth enamel caused by acids. It is caused by acids found in certain foods and drinks. It can also occur due to dry mouth and acid reflux.
What is dental erosion?
In dentistry, we use certain tools and procedures that can damage teeth over time. One of the more common is tooth erosion. Tooth erosion is a type of tooth damage in which the surface of the teeth gradually wears away. It can affect a person from a very early age to an advanced age. Typically, it’s caused by acid in the mouth for long periods of time, and it’s more common in people who drink a lot of acidic beverages such as soda or sports drinks. However, there are other culprits of tooth erosion as well, such as eating disorders and acid reflux. Problems that affect the esophagus often cause stomach acid to rise up into your mouth in the form of reflux. This acid causes erosion of tooth enamel over time and eventually leads to tooth decay.
There are other types of tooth erosion as well. They may be the result of grinding your teeth at night or using a medication that has side effects that include dry mouth. In these types of situations, it’s best to talk to your dentist about ways to prevent your enamel from eroding.
There are several solutions available, such as special toothpaste that will help strengthen your enamel or provide a protective barrier against the effects of saliva. Your dentist may also recommend using an at-home fluoride treatment to strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce the likelihood of erosion. In some cases, the side effects of medications can be reduced or managed to prevent further erosion of tooth enamel.
If you’re concerned about the possibility of tooth erosion, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. They’ll be able to assess your oral health and provide recommendations for further action if necessary.
Causes of dental erosion
Dental erosion is caused when acids destroy your tooth enamel, resulting in small holes that expose the delicate structures of the teeth to damage. This can be caused by certain acidic foods and drinks, or it can occur naturally due to a number of causes like acid reflux and GERD.
Certain drinks like soda and sports drinks are highly acidic and can break down your teeth’s enamel at an incredibly fast rate. This is why dentists discourage patients from drinking these beverages on a regular basis. While the occasional beverage won’t cause severe damage, consistent consumption will certainly lead to tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and other symptoms of tooth decay.
Other causes of erosion include eating certain foods that are high in acid and sugar content, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, berries, and more. Citrus fruits are especially harmful because of their high acidity levels and their sticky texture. When you eat them, the acid stays on your teeth for longer periods of time, allowing the effects to be worse.
Acid reflux is another common cause of dental erosion because it exposes the teeth to stomach acid for a prolonged period of time. When this occurs at home, you can rinse your mouth out with water to neutralize the acid before brushing. However, if you have reflux while sleeping, you’ll need to take other measures to protect your teeth. This includes using a nighttime mouth guard to protect your teeth and rinsing your mouth out in the morning after waking.
If you’re suffering from the effects of dental erosion, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away to discuss options for treatment. Your dentist may recommend fluoride treatments to help prevent and repair any damage done to your enamel. In more severe cases, they may recommend restorative dentistry procedures to repair damage to your teeth and restore your oral health back to normal.
How to prevent and treat dental erosion
The foods you eat and contribute to your diet play a major role in your oral health and hygiene. If you consume foods and drinks that are acidic or eat/drink them too often, they can wear down your teeth, causing dental erosion. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help combat dental erosion or prevent it from happening in the first place.
One way to combat dental erosion is by limiting your consumption of foods that are highly acidic. These can include citrus fruits, tomatoes, soda, vinegar, and more. If you do choose to eat them, also be sure to dilute them with water or brush your teeth afterward to help reduce the acid on your teeth.
You should also do your best to drink beverages through a straw whenever possible. This can help direct the beverage away from your teeth, so there is less contact with potential acids than when you drink it straight from a glass. Drinking water is also a great way to stay hydrated while also protecting your teeth and gums.
If you are concerned that you suffer from dental erosion, talk to your dentist as soon as possible. They can determine the extent of the damage and help you explore treatment options.
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