Before you gulp down your next soda, mull over this: Soda is public enemy number one when it comes to dental enamel erosion, a common and often painful condition.
Enamel loss frequently starts as a simple infuriation and grows into a severe dental problem. Tooth enamel is a valuable substance that gets worn down by the foods and drinks we consume — including but not restricted to — soda and other sugary beverages.
If you want to defend your teeth and look out for your long-term dental health, it’s imperative you learn:
- What causes tooth erosion
- The link between teeth and acid erosion
- Whether tooth enamel can be restored
- How to put a stop to tooth erosion
What Is Tooth Enamel?
Before we start to explore tooth erosion, you may first be wondering what tooth enamel is and why it’s important. Tooth enamel is a dense mineral that surrounds the crown of every tooth. Think of this enamel as the moat and your tooth as the castle. Just as a moat protects the castle from unwanted invaders, tooth enamel protects the tooth from foreign substances that can hurt it, such as sugar and acid.
Tooth enamel has a number of distinguishing features:
- It’s the hardest substance in the body
- It measures barely a couple millimeters at its thickest
- It can be yellow, grayish, white or bluish
As enamel is a mineral, it does not grow up back. When it has been smashed, such as a crack or a chip, that loss turn out to be permanent. As hard as tooth enamel is, it can continue with a lot of damage, and erosion ranks as the most frequent type of tooth enamel damage.
What Causes Enamel Loss?
Acid ranks as the main cause of tooth enamel loss. This material eats away at tooth enamel, eroding it eventually. This leaves the tooth weak and with no its main source of shelter.
The mouth produces acid in a number of ways. The most common method comes from the food we eat. But that’s not all – other contributors to acid production in the mouth include:
- Dry mouth
- Acid reflux
- GI tract issues
- Taking acidic medicines such as aspirin or antihistamines
- Low-salivary flow
- Bruxism or grinding of the teeth
Foods and Drinks That Contribute to Teeth Acid Erosion
Foods and drinks with high acid content are the foremost cause of dental enamel erosion. The irony, of course, is that this type of enamel erosion can be prevented with tweaks to your diet.
These foods and drinks manufacture the most acid and thus do the most harm to your tooth enamel:
- Soda: The sugar in this sweet drink and the bacteria in your mouth merge to form the acid that attacks your teeth consistently whenever you gulp down. Don’t be fool by diet sodas — they are just as damaging, causing enamel damage that can even be worse than that caused by drug abuse.
- Fruit juice: although not as strong as soda, this drink is high in sugar and sparks elevated acid making in your mouth.
- Flavored water: revelation: You may think water is a secure choice, but if you drink on flavored waters, they frequently have citric acid and other additives that can make acid in your mouth, even if they do not contain sugar.
- Sugary snacks: Snacks with plenty of sugar in them, particularly chewy ones that fix to your teeth, will harm the enamel. Look out of the many forms of sugar when picking your snacks — fructose, honey, glucose, corn syrup and others all refer to sugar and are supposed to be evaded.
- Starchy snacks: Carbohydrate-heavy foods for example potato chips, white bread and crackers can linger in the mouth and produce acid.
- Citrus fruits: While citrus fruits make great snacks and are part of a healthy diet, they are extremely acidic and can put in to tooth enamel erosion if they stay in the mouth too long — for example, if you’re sucking on a lemon.
Side Effects of Dental Enamel Erosion
Now that you know what causes enamel erosion, you might be doubting. How can I let know if my tooth enamel is grind down? There are a number of side effects from erosion.
The most common side effect from teeth erosion is tooth sensitivity. This is caused by the decrease of the tooth’s defensive coating. Your teeth may damage when you eat very hot or cold foods, when you brush, or when your gum line is showing to air.
Enamel erosion often results in what appears to be discoloration. In reality, the enamel has worn so thin you are seeing the underlying dentine of your teeth, which is yellow.
Uneven Edges on the Teeth
When your tooth enamel wears away, it can result in bumpy edges. This can eventually lead to chips and cracks.
Shiny Spots on the Teeth
These smooth surfaces indicate erosion. They’re a sign your teeth have lost minerals.
Increased Tooth Decay
As you may visualize when the protecting surface on your teeth gets worn, your teeth turn out to be more susceptible to cavities.
As enamel grows weaker, the structure of the teeth can break down. Cracks and fractures of the teeth happen more frequently.
The more the enamel has been worn down, the thinner your teeth grow, until they appear almost transparent. Your teeth may also look duller because their natural shine has been worn away.
Can Tooth Enamel Be Restored?
Unfortunately, there’s no way to “restore” tooth enamel. Enamel doesn’t have living cells, which means there is no way it can repair itself. Any destruction done to the enamel on your teeth is eternal.
How to Repair Tooth Enamel
Though enamel can’t be replicated, dentists can offer a bit of assistance in repairing the worn-down mineral. There are two main ways to treat eroded teeth:
- Tooth bonding: Bonding can be employed in milder cases of enamel erosion. In this cosmetic procedure, resin that is colored to match your tooth is applied to the tooth with the damage. Once it solidifies, it is “bonded” to your tooth and then trimmed and polished to fit into your mouth properly. The whole process takes an hour or less, and the bonding generally takes just one appointment.
- Tooth crowns: A crown can be applied to a tooth in more severe cases of weak enamel. This process engrosses capping the tooth with a fresh one that will care for the damaged areas. A crown can bring back function to a damaged tooth, allocating you to eat and drink with no pain. It will also defend your tooth against coming decay.
What If You Delay Tooth Erosion Treatment?
Tooth enamel erosion may not appear like a imperative problem. If you lost a filling or had a painful cavity, you’d head straight for the dentist, however most people don’t feel such instant action is essential for the repair of tooth enamel. in spite of this virtual lack of necessity, you should think about consulting with your dentist as soon as possible.
Tooth erosion will only grow to be worse when you are not taking any steps to stop it. If you do not know which foods to shun or understand you’re brushing your teeth too forcefully and making frail enamel, you won’t do anything to alter these habits. Your dentist can tell you what to do to end the sequence of tooth erosion.
How to Prevent Tooth Erosion
Reduce Sugary Drinks
Yes, this one must be obvious, but it tolerate repeating: Soda and fruit juices are venomous to your teeth. If you can replace even one or two of these drinks every day with water, you’ll be doing a huge service to your teeth.
Don’t Swish Your Drinks
When you twirl liquid around in your mouth, particularly acidic liquid for example soda or orange juice, you’re revealing even more of your mouth to the acid that results tooth enamel goes kaput. Evade swishing your drinks: make use of a straw so the liquid contacts as a small number of teeth as possible prior to being swallowed.
Obtain Treatment for Outstanding Medical Conditions
Stomach acid flakes the teeth fast. When you undergo from a digestive disorder, for example acid reflux, or an eating disorder, such as bulimia, this stomach acid often burns up the esophagus and into your mouth, where it approach to your teeth.
Cut Back on Snacks
Recurrent snacking all through the day can show the way to greater acid production. If you’re a grazer who like snacks to meals or you grasp food when you’re jaded, try to eradicate one or two of your each day snacks to cut back on acid production in the mouth.
Rinse Your Mouth following Eating
We make clear to our patients that brushing your teeth too soon following eating acidic food can in reality make the damage worse, for the reason that you’re spreading the acid around your mouth. in its place, gently wash out your mouth with water or mouthwash after eating. Then, an hour after you’ve completed eating, take out your toothbrush.
Chew Sugarless Gum
Sugar-free gum can help clear away acid lingering in your mouth after a meal. Prefer a gum with xylitol, which has been made known to prevent the augmentation of cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth.
Add to Your Dairy Intake
You construct strong teeth with calcium, and dairy products brim with it. Plus, dairy products are muggy and form a layer over your teeth that remain after you eat them, helping to guard enamel against acid.
You have possibly take notice of about the health benefits of green and black tea, which are high in antioxidants. But did you know tea can also help stop tooth erosion? This all-natural beverage has a elevated PH level relative to most other drinks, and it can neutralize acid in your mouth produced by other food and drinks.
Use Toothpaste and Mouthwash with Fluoride
Fluoride is like a booster shot for your teeth. It helps to fortify enamel, offering more safety against acid or whatever thing that can wear away that defensive coating. opt toothpaste and mouthwash that list fluoride amongst the ingredients, and ensure your kids do the same. It’s never too early on to start building those healthy, tooth-protecting habits.
Get Regular Dental Checkups
The preeminent protection against tooth erosion is a good offense, and that means being proactive with your dental hygiene. Plan regular dental checkups and biannual cleanings to maintain your teeth as healthy as achievable.
At ADVANCED DENTAL CARE CENTRE, we can look out of your entire family and help you in the battle against dental enamel erosion. Contact us today to schedule a checkup.