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Dental Erosion

TOOTH SURFACE LOSS: CAUSES, TREATMENT AND PREVENTION

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Dental Erosion Warrnambool

Dental erosion is tooth wear that occurs when teeth are exposed to acids.

The enamel, a tooth’s natural coating, is a protective layer which coats the tooth and acts as a barrier between its more brittle interior (dentine) and the daily wear and tear of eating and drinking.

When the tooth enamel is dissolved with acid, the dentine is left exposed and vulnerable to further damage and erosion.

And dentine, which erodes much faster than enamel, can completely erode, leaving the inside of the tooth along with its soft tissue and nerves exposed.

Dental erosion is one of the major causes of tooth decay.

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Causes of Dental Erosion

Dental erosion is normally caused by having too much acid in our diet but can also be the result of eating disorders which involve frequent vomiting and contact between teeth and stomach acids.

causes of dental erosion warrnambool
Fizzy drinks, fruit juices, wine, caffeinated beverages, citrus fruit, artificial sweeteners, processed snacks and other acidic foods all take a toll on our enamel.

The more we expose our teeth to acidic food and drinks, the faster the erosion of enamel takes place.

Although our saliva acts as an acid neutraliser for the protection of our teeth, it’s no match against frequent and persistent exposure to the harmful effects of a highly acidic diet.

Some acidic foods, such as fruit and fruit juices, are part of a healthy diet and should be consumed in moderation along with plenty of water to balance their acidic effects.

You should try to restrict acidic food and drinks to mostly during mealtimes and limiting them as much as possible in-between meals.

It is best to wait between 30 minutes to 1 hour before brushing your teeth after eating or drinking something acidic.

This will allow your saliva to neutralise the acids in your mouth and mineralise your teeth before you start brushing.

Indications of Dental Erosion

You may be experiencing dental erosion if:

  • Thinning enamel is causing your teeth to become more yellow than normal
  • Teeth appear glazed or feel smooth as a result of enamel wearing away
  • Teeth appear shorter
  • Sensitive teeth

Dental Erosion Prevention and Treatment

The erosion of enamel itself is permanent and cannot be reversed. However, there are treatments which can be performed to safeguard the teeth from further damage and prevent tooth decay or tooth loss.

dental erosion prevention and treatment warrnambool
These include treatments such as resin bonding and multiple crowns designed to protect tooth dentine and the remaining enamel from further erosion.

You can maintain healthy enamel naturally by:

  • Drinking water regularly. Fluoridated tap water is especially beneficial for enamel
  • Limiting soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages
  • Restricting acidic food and drinks to mealtime only
  • Brushing your teeth with a soft or medium bristle toothbrush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Chewing sugarless gum to increase saliva production
  • Rinsing and flossing daily
  • Seeing your Warrnambool dentist as recommended or as necessary
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Frequently Asked Questions

About Dental Erosion

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1. What is tooth wear?
Tooth wear is the loss of tooth structure that can make your teeth appear shorter or less than they used to be.
2. What are the symptoms of tooth wear?
One sign of tooth wear is the loss of the surface of the tooth, leading to a smooth, shiny appearance. This can make any exposed tooth root (dentine) sensitive to hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks.
3. Are sports drinks safe?
Many sports drinks contain ingredients that promote tooth wear as well as decay. However, it is important for athletes to avoid dehydration because this can lead to a dry mouth and bad breath.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
dr nishant hurria warrnambool dentist

Dr Nishant Hurria

Dr Nishant Hurria is an Australian-based health professional and the principal dentist of Warrnambool Dental with a special interest in Crowns & Bridges and Dental Implants.