20/20 Dental Practice Blog

How to prevent tooth erosion?

Posted by Ronel Van Der Spuy on Feb 6, 2015 11:39:00 AM

tooth_erosionDental Erosion is the superficial loss of enamel by a chemical process. If left unchecked, it may proceed to the underlying dentine.

Recently, tooth erosion has been recognized as a dental health problem in children. A national survey of Children’s Dental Health found that fifty per cent of 6 year olds have dental erosion and thirty two per cent of 14 year olds.

What can cause dental erosion?
  1. Drinking too many soft drinks or fruit drinks.
  2. Sparkling water. This is because our teeth are constantly being bathed in a weak acid solution containing carbon dioxide.
  3. Eating lots of sour foods or sweets.
  4. Dry mouth or low saliva volume. Saliva helps prevent decay by neutralizing acids and washing away leftover food in the mouth.
  5. Acid reflux disease or heartburn. Acid reflux brings stomach acids up to the mouth, where the acids can erode enamel.
  6. Bulimia, alcoholism, or binge drinking, in which frequent vomiting exposes teeth to stomach acids. Certain drugs or supplements with high acid content, such as Aspirin or Vitamin C, can also erode enamel.
  7. Friction and wear and tear from brushing teeth too vigorously or grinding teeth can erode enamel
  8. Regular and prolonged consumption of wine, fruit juices, soft drinks and vinegar-based salad dressings.
  9. Frequent grazing through the day on vegetables and fruit.
  10. Imbalanced eating patterns, for example, not eating something that counterbalances the acidity of fruit, such as nuts, at the time of eating the fruit.

What are the Symptoms of Tooth Erosion?
Sensitive teeth or tooth ache when eating hot, cold, or sweet foods or drinks.
Rough or irregular edges on the teeth, which can become cracked or chipped when enamel is lost.
Smooth, shiny surfaces on the teeth -- enamel erosion causes mineral loss on these areas. Yellowed teeth from thinned enamel.
Cupping, or dents, that show up on the biting or chewing surfaces of the teeth.

Good dental care at home and visiting your dentist can help prevent dental erosion

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