Dental Erosion Prevention, Symptoms & Treatment
What is dental erosion?
Dental erosion occurs when the surface of your teeth is worn away by acids you eat or drink, or acids that come up from your stomach. These acids have the potential to dissolve the crystals that make up your teeth, resulting in tooth surface erosion. Such acids also can soften the tooth surface (enamel), making it simpler for abrasion or tooth grinding to wear away. This is referred to as acid wear.
Causes of dental erosion
Dental erosion can be caused by several factors. Some of them are as follows.
- Acids in the stomach: The stomach includes several powerful digestive acids or juices that aid in the digestion of foods. These stomach acids can enter your mouth as a result of vomiting or reflux. Digestive juices are extremely potent and can cause significant tooth damage. People suffering from bulimia, morning sickness, or reflux may suffer from dental erosion.
- Acid sources in the diet: Many of the foods and beverages we consume are acidic in nature such as citrus fruits, soft drinks, wine, vinegar, processed foods, pickles, etc. Overconsumption of any acidic food may lead to enamel or dental erosion. Sugary foods such as candies, toffies, cookies, etc. are some other examples.
- Dry mouth.
Dental erosion symptoms
The loss of the tooth’s surface, which results in a smooth, shiny look, is one indicator of dental erosion. Any exposed tooth root (dentine) might become sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet meals and drinks as a result of dental erosion. The enamel may wear away to disclose the underlying dentine in advanced dental erosion; these areas appear as yellow depressions on the tooth surface most of the time. If the surrounding tooth surface is eroding, fillings may become more visible.
Why get the treatment for dental erosion?
Erosion of the teeth can cause a variety of problems. If left untreated, dental erosion can result in the loss of the tooth’s surface. Fillings, veneers, crowns, and possibly root canal treatment may be required when tooth structure is lost.
Prevention of dental erosion
Brush, floss, and rinse with a fluoride and antiseptic mouthwash daily to prevent enamel loss and maintain tooth healthy. Regular dental examinations and cleanings are recommended every six months. You could also take a look at the following:
- Limit intake of highly acidic meals and beverages like carbonated sodas, lemons, and other citrus fruits and juices in your diet.
- Know your diet whether it is acidic or not. If you are going to eat something acidic, do so during mealtimes to make it easier on your enamel. You can also use low-acid orange juice as an alternative. After consuming acidic foods or drinking acidic beverages, immediately rinse your mouth with clean water.
- Snacking throughout the day raises the chances of getting cavities. After consuming sugary or starchy foods, the tongue becomes acidic for a few hours. Thoroughly brush and floss afterward.
- Use sugar-free gums.
- Increase the intake of water.
- Make sure you are not brushing too hard. After eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages, wait at least an hour before brushing. Acids soften the enamel, making it more vulnerable to toothbrush damage.
- Ensure to get treatment and therapy in case of gastrointestinal issues and bulimia respectively.
If the surface of your teeth has eroded, the damaged surface will need to be restored with fillings or crowns. It is critical to see your dentist regularly so that they can detect dental erosion early, evaluate the source, and devise effective strategies to prevent further tooth wear.