Dental erosion is a common dental issue that occurs when the enamel thins due to acids. Acidic foods and drinks, acid reflux, and other medical conditions can cause dental erosion.
When the enamel erodes, it can lead to various dental problems. For example, you may find that your teeth are more sensitive to temperatures. Additionally, worn enamel can increase your chances of developing tooth decay. Therefore, it is vital to know the signs of dental erosion so that you can seek treatment.
What are the Effects of Dental Erosion?
The effects of dental erosion on your mouth can be significant. The enamel is the protective layer of your teeth that helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. When it erodes, your teeth are more vulnerable to decay and other issues.
When the enamel erodes, the underlying layer of your teeth, called dentin, becomes exposed. This can cause sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures and sweet or acidic foods.
Dental erosion can cause your teeth to become discolored. The enamel is the part of your teeth that gives them their white appearance. When it erodes, your teeth can become yellow or brown.
Cracks and Chips
As the enamel erodes, your teeth become weaker and more prone to cracking or chipping. Although your enamel is a strong tissue, it can become brittle due to erosion. Chipped or cracked teeth are susceptible to infection and decay.
As a result, you are more likely to develop cavities due to dental erosion. Dental erosion can cause cavities because the enamel is the protective layer of your teeth that prevents bacteria from entering and causing decay. Once erosion compromises the enamel, bacteria can begin to cause infection.
In severe cases of dental erosion, the teeth can become so weakened that they eventually fall out.
How to Prevent Dental Erosion
Preventing dental erosion is crucial to maintaining healthy teeth.
Limiting your intake of acidic foods and drinks can reduce dental erosion. For example, try to avoid soda, sports drinks, citrus fruits, and vinegar. If you can’t minimize your intake of acids, try rinsing your mouth with water after eating or drinking. This can help neutralize the effects of acid. Also, you can try using a straw to reduce contact with your teeth.
Another way that you can prevent dental erosion is to chew sugar-free gum. Chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate saliva production. As a result, this helps neutralize acid and remineralize the enamel.
Finally, practicing good daily oral hygiene can help prevent dental erosion. To do this, make sure to brush your teeth twice a day to remove plaque and bacteria.
Treatment Options for Dental Erosion
If you already have dental erosion, there are treatment options available to repair the damage. Your treatment may depend on the severity of your dental erosion.
A common treatment for dental erosion is tooth bonding. Bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure where your dentist applies a tooth-colored resin to the affected tooth. In as little as one session, your dentist can restore the appearance and function of your tooth.
In severe cases of dental erosion, a dental crown may be necessary to protect the tooth and restore its function. A dental crown is a porcelain “cap” that your dentist will place over the top of your tooth. This cap will provide structure to your tooth and prevent further decay.