Tooth erosion ranks among the top most common dental problems across all age groups, and while it’s possible to repair teeth damaged by erosion, the best course is to prevent tooth erosion in the first place. There are various treatments for teeth that have suffered erosion, and it’s possible to restore a smile to its natural beauty and health, but knowing the causes of tooth erosion can help avoid any future problems.
What causes tooth erosion?
Tooth erosion happens when the natural enamel on teeth gets worn down. Although tooth enamel is one of the strongest substances in nature, it can still suffer damage when the acids in the mouth wear away at it. Worn enamel is a bigger problem among those who don’t visit the dentist regularly for exams and cleanings, but it can happen to anyone. When tooth enamel weakens and wears away, the layers underneath are more vulnerable to erosion and decay. Proper hygiene including daily brushing and flossing can help prevent enamel erosion as can limiting consumption of food and drink that cause erosion such as:
- Fruit juices
- Berries and other citrus fruit
- Red and white wine
- Jelly and jam
- Tomatoes and tomato-based products
- Salad dressings and vinegar
Acids within the body that occur from conditions like acid reflux disease can also harm tooth enamel as can dry mouth, teeth grinding, biting fingernails, brushing teeth too hard and chewing on ice or other hard objects such as pens and pencils.
Treating tooth erosion
Simple lifestyle changes can be enough to prevent tooth erosion from becoming an issue. Cutting down on sugary and acidic food and drink can help protect enamel from wear. Other treatments include a nighttime mouth guard for teeth grinding and treating the causes of persistent dry mouth. For someone who has moderate to high tooth erosion, restorative dentistry including dental crowns and bonding can help restore the appearance, function, and health of teeth while preventing additional damage. It’s important to seek treatment for tooth erosion as soon as you notice any problems if you regularly consume acidic food and beverage or have habits that can damage your tooth enamel.
If your teeth have become sensitive or you’re concerned about erosion, it’s important to seek treatment to prevent further damage and restore your smile. Contact Greater Baltimore Prosthodontics to set up an appointment for a regular exam and to discuss cosmetic restoration options.CONTACT US