Many people consume carbonated or sugary drinks and acidic foods every day, but have no idea that those beverages may be harming their teeth, making them vulnerable to tooth erosion. The acid in the foods that we eat and drink can cause tooth enamel to wear away, making your teeth sensitive and discolored. And, in many cases, what's important is not what you eat and drink, but rather how you consume it.
Tooth erosion is the loss of tooth structure caused by the weakening of dental enamel, which is the strongest substance in the human body. Enamel is the thin, outer layer of hard tissue that helps maintain the tooth's structure and shape. When the enamel is weakened, it exposes the underlying dentin, which can cause the teeth to appear yellow.
Tooth erosion may occur when the acids in the foods and beverages that you eat and drink, as well as other factors, weaken the enamel. Acid can come from many sources like carbonated drinks, fruit juices, sour foods and candies, low salivary volume, acid reflux disease, bulimia, binge drinking, or simple wear and tear.
Acid wear may lead to serious dental problems. When the tooth enamel erodes, your teeth become more vulnerable to cavities and decay. Dental erosion symptoms include severe sensitivity, tooth discoloration, rounded teeth, transparent teeth, visible cracks in teeth, or cupping, or dents, that show up on the biting or chewing surfaces of the teeth.
There are many dental recommendations to prevent tooth erosion that include replacing carbonated drinks with water, consuming all acidic drinks quickly, consuming acidic foods with a meal, rinsing with water after consuming acidic foods, chewing sugar-free gum to produce more saliva, and brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste.
It is important to know that the majority of dental problems, such as tooth erosion, do not become visible or painful until they are advanced. And, unfortunately, serious oral issues are painful and expensive to treat. A professional cleaning and exam twice a year is the best way to detect and or treat any dental problems like erosion.
If you have any questions about tooth erosion or are in need of a dental appointment, feel free to call our office at 918-455-0123!