We all enjoy sugary snacks and sparkling sodas. However, are you aware that they can cause your tooth enamel to erode?
Tooth erosion gets triggered by acid attacks and causes irreparable damage to the tooth enamel. Enamel loss often begins as a simple annoyance and develops into a severe dental problem.
The external layer of your teeth comprises of enamel, a substance that shields against physical and chemical injury. Tooth enamel is the hardest of all human tissue that surpasses even the strength of bone.
Enamel is the primary defense for your teeth against the exposure from various types of chemicals food and bodily fluids. As a result, it can be susceptible to wear and tear which is also known as enamel erosion.
Tooth enamel can’t be restored because they lack in living cells. However, you can stop erosion from getting severe through suitable dental treatment and by teeth care.
What Causes Your Enamel to Erode?
Overexposure to stomach acids is one of the potential reasons for tooth enamel erosion. Conditions that encourage this problem include:
- Excessive consumption of soft drinks, containing elevated levels of phosphoric and citric acids
- Intake of certain acidic fruit drinks that can lead to much worse erosion than battery acid
- Dry mouth condition or Xerostomia that cause low salivary flow in the mouth
- Consumption of a diet rich in sugar and starches
- Acid reflux disease, also known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Gastrointestinal abnormalities
- Certain pain medications like aspirin and antihistamines
- Genetic disposition
- Environmental factors including friction, wear and tear, trauma, and stress
How to Know If Your Tooth Enamel Is Eroding?
There are many symptoms of tooth enamel erosion that include the following:
- Tooth Sensitivity & Pain: If your enamel is eroding away, your teeth may become hypersensitive to hot and cold food.
- Tooth Discoloration: Your teeth may form yellow stains as the underlying layer of the enamel (dentin) becomes more exposed.
- Teeth Transparency: Your teeth become thinner with constant enamel erosion until they look almost transparent and dull.
- Cracks and Cups: If the tooth enamel begins to erode, your teeth may form cracks and minor dents along the chewing edges.
- Increased Tooth Decay: When the protective covering on your teeth gets eroded, your teeth turn out to be more susceptible to cavities.
How to Repair Tooth Enamel Erosion
Though enamel can’t be reproduced, dentists can offer some help to repair the worn-down mineral. There are a few ways to improve teeth erosion including:
- Tooth bonding: Bonding can be applied in less severe cases of enamel erosion.
- Tooth crowns: A crown can be suitable for a tooth in more critical cases of weak enamel.
How to Prevent Tooth Erosion
One of the most usual concerns for many people is how to prevent future tooth erosion even after damage has been caused. Experts recommend these tips to control acid production in the mouth and safeguard your precious teeth from enamel erosion:
- Eliminate acidic drinks and sugary snacks
- Don’t swish your drinks and drink with a straw
- Get treatment for underlying medical conditions
- Maintain regular oral hygiene
- Rinse your mouth after meals
- Chew sugarless gum
- Increase your calcium intake
- Drink green tea
- Use fluoride-containing toothpaste and mouthwash
The best protection against tooth erosion is getting proactive with your dental hygiene and scheduling regular dental visits for maintaining your teeth health as much as possible.
Dr. Steffany Mohan is the Owner of Plaza Dental Group and is a leading dentist in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Mohan is an expert in implant, family and cosmetic dentistry, is Invisalign certified and has gained a reputation of excellence in the dentistry community. Plaza Dental Group has built a reputation for excellence and its close doctor-patient relationships, which has made them one of the premier offices of Iowa dentists