Enamel, the outer part of a tooth, is one the strongest parts of the human body, but its strength has limits. It is the first defense for your teeth against acidic foods and drinks that can wear away the enamel. Tooth erosion happens when these acids wear away the enamel on teeth. Once enamel is worn away or eroded, the body cannot repair or regrow it and your teeth will need to be fixed with restorative or cosmetic dentistry such as bonding, veneers or a crown.
Common Symptoms of Tooth Erosion
Signs of tooth erosion include:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Sensitivity to sugary foods
- Discolored teeth
- Indentation on the surface of the teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Tooth decay
The best way to determine if you have tooth erosion is by making an appointment with your dentist. They can then review your symptoms, make an accurate diagnosis and give you their recommended treatment plan.
Common Causes of Tooth Erosion
Enamel erosion can be caused by the following:
- Dry mouth
- Drinking excessive soft drinks and fruit drinks
- A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates
- Acid reflux disease
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Medications like aspirin and antihistamines
How To Prevent and Treat Tooth Erosion
Good oral hygiene is the key to having a healthy mouth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss teeth at least once a day and also have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year and ask about fluoride, a mineral which helps strengthen teeth.
By changing your lifestyle habits, you may be able to help prevent tooth erosion. Reduce soda and fruit drink intake or drink through a straw to help keep these liquids off of your teeth. And try not to eat a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates. In addition to these lifestyle changes, practice a healthy oral care routine including brushing your teeth and gums twice a day and flossing once a day.
Who Treats Tooth Erosion?
Your dentist will be able to diagnose and treat tooth erosion. They will ask about your diet and history then choose the best course of action.