Dental Erosion: Causes and Treatment

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Dental erosion can be caused by acids and is usually located on the tooth’s enamel surface. Enamel protects your teeth from sensitivity. When the enamel is worn off, the dentin becomes exposed, which leads to sensitivity to hot, cold, or even acidic foods. This condition may cause you to experience tooth pain.

Causes

When you eat or drink a lot of acidic foods and drinks, your enamel can soften and lose its minerals. Saliva attempts to balance this out in your mouth and slowly reduces the acidity, but when it happens too often, your mouth can’t repair itself and the enamel weakens. Over time, you lose more and more of enamel tissues from the surface of your teeth.

Medical conditions that cause dental erosion

Bulimia is a disorder, which can cause dental erosion. Patients who make themselves throw up in order to lose weight can damage their teeth in the process. Vomit contains high levels of stomach acid, which can damage tooth enamel.  Gastro-oesophageal reflux, a condition where stomach acids come up into the mouth, can cause the same damage as Bulimia. People who drink a lot of alcohol and have oesophageal problems or a hiatus hernia may also vomit and suffer from dental erosion, in turn causing tooth sensitivity.  

How can diet prevent dental erosion?

It is known that acidic foods and drinks cause dental erosion. Anything that has pH value lower than 5.5 is acidic and may harm your teeth. Sodas or any fizzy, carbonated drinks may also cause dental erosion. You must remember that “diet” brands and even fizzy waters with flavors might affect your tooth’s surface as well. Fruit juices and fruits (especially citrus ones) – contain natural acids, which may harm your teeth, especially if you eat them in large amounts. Speaking of, sports drinks contain certain ingredients, which can cause dental erosion and even tooth decay.  If you want to prevent dental erosion, the best option for you would be to drink plain water or milk, because milk neutralizes the acidic environment in your mouth.

Tips to prevent dental erosion

  • Try to avoid keeping sugary or acidic food or drinks in your mouth for elongated times.
  • After eating acidic foods, try to eat milk or cheese afterward, because it can neutralize the acid level in your mouth, or rinse thoroughly after eating.
  • Finish your meals with sugar-free chewing gum, it will increase your saliva flow, which will help to cancel all the acids in your mouth.
  • Brush your teeth with the small-headed toothbrush, which would have soft or medium soft bristles. Make sure that your toothpaste contains fluoride.
  • Brush your teeth before going to bed and at least one time during the day.
  • Your dentist might suggest you also use fluoridated mouthwash.

Treatment

Dental erosion does not always need to be treated. You can prevent or even stop the problem with regular check-ups and by following your dentist’s advice. If your tooth sensitivity is very severe and your tooth needs to be treated, you may simply need a bonding procedure to recreate your enamel layer. If the case is more severe, you might need a veneer.

 

If you have any questions or concerns about tooth erosion, please contact your dentist at First Class Dental at (661) 383-2888 or email at myfirstclassdental@gmail.com for more information or to schedule a consultation!

 

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