Dental erosion is the irreversible loss of tooth structure due to chemical dissolution by acids. Overtime, the softened enamel or dentine begins to wear, resulting in thinning of the tooth structure which in turn can modify the shape and appearance of your teeth and may also lead to sensitivity to temperature.
What Causes Dental Erosion?
The most common cause of dental erosion is the consumption of foods and drinks which contain acids, such as some fruits, wine, fruit juices and soft drinks. Other factors that may contribute to dental erosion include some medications for example chewable vitamin C tablets and medical conditions such as alcoholism, eating disorders or gastric reflux.
Preventing Dental Erosion
- Since some foods and drinks such as fruit and natural juices that can cause erosion contain essential vitamins required for a healthy diet, these should not be completely avoided, however, care should be taken as to the frequency in which they are consumed.
- Do not brush your teeth immediately after consuming food or drink which contains acid, as the softened enamel/dentine is easily brushed away. Instead wait for 1hr before brushing your teeth.
- Try to limit the consumption of natural fruit juices to mealtimes and avoid having them everyday if possible. Drink plain water between meals.
- If you do have an occasional soft drink or natural fruit juice, use a straw in order to limit the acidic exposure to the teeth and avoid swishing or holding the drink in your mouth before swallowing.
- Attend regular visits with your dentist so we can recognise early signs of dental erosion.
- Use a fluoride containing toothpaste twice daily.
If you suffer from sensitivity or you think you may have the signs and symptoms of dental erosion please call the surgery on 02 96512085 to arrange an appointment to discuss treatment and prevention.