You may have heard at least once about tooth enamel erosion or dental erosion. Tooth erosion occurs when acid wears away the tooth enamel, which is the thin outer layered covering the tooth. The enamel is very tough, it is the hardest tissue in the human body, but once it is gone, this portion does not regenerate. Soit is an irreversible process. This is because the enamel does not contain living cells so the body can’t repair chipped or cracked enamel. The calcium that is in saliva will help neutralize the acid in the food you eat and protect your tooth enamel from erosion. But if you consume a lot of acidic drinks or foods, the calcium in your saliva may not be enough. Your teeth will be affected by decay and other oral health problems.
Enamel helps protect your teeth from daily use such as crunching, grinding, chewing. It also protects the teeth from painful temperatures or chemicals.
Causes of tooth enamel erosion
- Bulimia – it is an eating disorder that is characterized by intentional vomiting as a way to maintain a desired weight. In this way stomach acids are introduced in the mouth.
- Soda – soda consumption erodes enamel the same way illicit drugs do.
- Citrus fruits – According to American Dental Association, fruits rich in high citrus levels (lemon, limes, grapefruits) can demineralize your teeth enamel. Do not forget to drink water in order to decrease the acidic effect.
- Some medications – we can include here vitamin C, aspirin, iron products.
- Patients with dry mouth are more likely to suffer from enamel erosion, since the flow of saliva in their mouth is lower and saliva neutralizes the acids in the mouth.
- Pregnancy morning sickness.
- Reduce the consumption of highly acidic foods and drinks. Drink the acidic drinks through a straw to keep them away from teeth and do not swish them around the mouth before swallowing.
- Chew sugar-free gum after meals or snacks. This will produce more saliva, which minimizes the bad effect of the acids in your mouth.
- Do not brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking something acidic. Wait for at least one hour. Instead rinse your mouth with water.
- Use fluoride toothpaste. This is because fluoride straightens teeth.
Dental erosion will result in teeth sensitivity at different textures and temperatures, discoloration (your teeth may appear more yellow because more of the dentin is exposed), cracks and chips.
Can we protect our teeth from enamel erosion? Of course we can.
If you experience significant enamel erosion, your dentist can recommend you tooth bonding (a procedure in which a tooth-colored material called resin is applied to stained or damaged teeth). Another option could be the use of crowns or veneers.
As a conclusion, in case you have problems with tooth enamel erosion, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Arhiri. Getting an advice from a professional can stop the problem getting worse. Regular check-ups, good oral hygiene, a healthy lifestyle are keys in maintain a good oral and general health. Call us today to make an appointment.