Teeth are the hardest substance in your body, but they’re not invincible. Tooth erosion is a gradual process that can wear away your tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth. It can be caused by a variety of factors causing teeth more sensitive to pain and temperature changes.
By being aware of the causes and signs of tooth erosion, and by taking steps to prevent it, you can protect your smile for a lifetime.
What is Tooth Erosion
The loss of tooth enamel caused by acid attack is known as Tooth erosion. Enamel is the proactive coating on the surface of your teeth which covers the more sensitive dentine layer underneath. This may lead to pain and sensitivity. Tooth erosion weakens the overall structure of the smile, exposing you to an increased risk of tooth decay, chips, cracks, and infection in or around the tooth.
There are two main types of tooth erosion:
- Intrinsic erosion: This type of erosion is caused by acids from inside the body, such as stomach acid that come up into the mouth due to acid reflux.
- Extrinsic erosion: This type of erosion is caused by acids from outside the body, such as acidic foods and drinks, or occupational exposure to acids.
Symptoms of Tooth Erosion
Tooth erosion can lead to several noticeable symptoms. Tooth sensitivity is a common sign particularly when consuming cold, or sweet foods or beverages.
- Increased sensitivity to taste, textures and temperatures.
- Cracks and chips in the teeth.
- Chalky, Discolouration (yellow).
- Cups are depressions on the surface of the teeth.
- Translucent teeth
Causes of Tooth Erosion
Causes of enamel erosion are due to many factors
Drinking or eating highly acidic foods and drinks can erode tooth enamel over time. This includes sugary drinks, fruit juices, citrus fruits, and sports drinks.
Acid reflux, also known as GERD, is a condition that causes stomach acid to back up into the mouth. This acid can erode tooth enamel.
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition in which people grind or clench their teeth together involuntarily. This can gradually erode tooth enamel.
Xerostomia, also known as dry mouth, is a condition in which the salivary glands in the mouth do not produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. Saliva helps to keep the mouth moist and lubricated, and it also plays an important role in protecting teeth from erosion and decay.
If you think you may have tooth erosion, it is important to see a dentist or dental hygienist. They can assess the damage and recommend treatment options. Treatment for tooth erosion may include:
- Fluoride treatments: Fluoride can help to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent further erosion.
- Bonding or fillings: These procedures can be used to repair damaged teeth.
- Crowns: Dental crowns may be necessary if teeth are severely eroded.
- Root canal treatment: In some severe cases, tooth erosion exposes the tooth’s root. Then, a root canal treatment may be necessary treatment to save the tooth. It is a procedure in which the infected pulp of the tooth is removed and the root canals are cleaned and sealed.
- Implants: Dental implants are a good option for those who have lost teeth due to tooth erosion, or who have teeth that are so severely eroded that they cannot be repaired with other treatments.
There are a number of things you can do to prevent tooth erosion, including:
- Use a mouth rinse with fluoride
- Control your intake of acidic foods and drinks.
- Choose sugar-free gum after eating.
- Chewing on hard objects such as ice, pens, and pencils is not recommended.
- If you grind your teeth at sleep, get a mouth guard.
- Drink plenty of water and use a saliva substitute if you have a dry mouth
- Brush and floss regularly using fluoride-based products.
- If you have acid reflux issues, talk to your doctor about treatment options.
For Complete Protection of Smile
Tooth erosion is a serious condition that can lead to a number of problems, including tooth sensitivity, pain, and even tooth loss. However, it is a preventable condition. By understanding the causes of tooth erosion and implementing preventive strategies, you can protect your teeth and maintain a healthy smile.
If you are concerned about tooth erosion, or if you have any signs or symptoms of the condition, please schedule an appointment with Complete Smiles Dental Clinic today. Here, experienced dentists will assess your risk factors and develop a personalised plan to protect your teeth and prevent tooth erosion