Tooth erosion is the deterioration of tooth enamel due to excessive acid build-up. In many cases, the overindulgence of soft drinks and other acidic substances causes an acid attack on the teeth enamel. Some fruit juices that are high in acid can be extremely erosive. Other causes of tooth erosion include gastrointestinal issues, acid reflux, dry mouth, high sugar and starch diets, and some medications, including aspirin and antihistamines. Friction, stress, and normal wear-and-tear can also cause tooth erosion.
What Tooth Erosion Feels Like
In the early stages of tooth erosion hot or cold foods as well as sugary substances may cause some tooth sensitivity. As erosion continues, the tooth can become more and more sensitive and painful. In this stage, the tooth is more prone to decay. Though minor cavities may not appear dire at first, over time, decay can reach the nerve causing an extremely painful abscess or infection.
Maintaining Healthy Enamel
To prevent erosion, maintain a healthy oral health routine–brush and floss daily and see your dentist at least every 6 months for comprehensive examinations and cleaning. Also, try to increase your water intake and cut back on sugary and acidic foods and beverages. You might also consider chewing sugar-free gum after meals to stimulate saliva production, which in turn clears out acid.
Treating Tooth Erosion
Once tooth enamel is lost, it cannot be naturally recovered. Sometimes, dental fillings can protect the tooth and enhance its look and feel. However, your dentist may recommend covering the tooth with a crown if there is major enamel loss to protect the tooth from additional decay.
If you think you may be experiencing tooth erosion, schedule your dental appointment today for a full examination. Let’s discuss the right treatment approach for you.