Enamel Erosion - How it Affects Your Teeth
You are what you eat. Making sure that you eat and drink the right foods and beverages is important to you and to your teeth. Read Full Article
If you consume too many acidic foods and beverages, the acid could be wearing away some of your enamel. A US multicentre research study reported that dental erosion is on the increase in the United States, making prevention more important than ever.1
What Is Enamel Erosion?
Enamel erosion occurs when enamel , the hard exterior layer that covers teeth, is worn away or reduced by a chemical acid process. There are two types of enamel erosion:
Caused by gastric acid and acid regurgitation due to medical or psychological conditions (e.g., acid reflux, anorexia, bulimia, etc.).
Occurs when dietary acids (e.g., sugar, diet sodas, fruit drinks, carbonated drinks, wine, etc.) contribute to lowering the pH level in the mouth, making the saliva very acidic.
Signs of Enamel Erosion
When enamel on the teeth wears down, several things may occur:
- Teeth may become discoloured because the enamel has worn away and the dentin is exposed.
- The edges of the front teeth may look transparent.
- Tooth sensitivity may occur both on inner and outer surfaces of the teeth. This is due to the dentin layer, normally covered by the enamel, becoming exposed to the oral environment. If you notice these types of changes in your in your teeth, please consult your dentist.
What Changes Can Be Made to Improve Your Teeth?
You may want to discuss the following options with your dentist to reduce enamel erosion in your mouth.
- Try to determine how often you eat/drink acidic foods and beverages.
- If your dentist confirms enamel erosion is severe, consider consulting a nutritionist for a diet analysis and assessment.
- Consult a physician to help determine if you suffer from gastric reflux, regurgitation or eating disorders.
Enamel erosion affects all age groups and appears to be related to tooth sensitivity.2 Acidic foods and drinks may need to be reduced or even eliminated because of the erosion they may cause. Colgate* Enamel Health™ Sensitivity Relief toothpastes can be used to provide pain relief while also helping to prevent enamel erosion. Sealants or bonding agents and topical fluoride applications may be considered to help reduce the progression of enamel erosion. Remember, it is always important to consult your dentist to discuss treatment options to help to enamel erosion.
- Information obtained on the U.S. News Web site at http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/healthday/080312/dental-erosion-on-rise-in-us_pr.
- Smith, BGN, Robb ND. The prevalence of toothwear in 1007 dental patients. J Oral Rehabil 1996, 23:232-239.