Dental erosion, also known as enamel erosion, refers to when acid wears away and dissolves your tooth enamel. It is often the result of consuming acidic foods and drinks such as coffee, citrus fruits and juices, and vinegar. Unlike dental decay, enamel erosion is not associated with bacteria, however, it can still cause significant damage to your teeth, resulting in tooth loss. Here are some risk factors for enamel erosion and some effective treatment options.
Risk Factors For Dental Erosion
People who have certain risk factors may be at a higher risk for developing dental erosion. For example, people who take dietary supplements, such as chewable forms of vitamin C and supplemental liquid iron, may be at risk for enamel erosion. If you take these supplements, your family dentist may recommend that you take your supplements in pill form, however, they will advise you to check with your primary care physician first.
Other risk factors may include acid reflux disease and autoimmune disorders that cause dry mouth from poor salivary production. Your family dentist can prescribe a moisturizing mouthwash if you have a dry mouth to help wash away excess acid that is left behind as a result of low saliva production.
Treatments For Dental Erosion
Because your damaged tooth enamel cannot grow back, treatment options are based on relieving tooth sensitivity and preventing further acid erosion damage to your teeth. To help prevent further enamel erosion, your family dentist may recommend cutting down on sports drinks, fruit juices, coffee, and acidic foods. They may also recommend chewing sugar-free gum after eating or drinking acidic foods and beverages to help increase saliva and also working with your primary care doctor to manage your acid reflux.
If enamel erosion has significantly damaged the structure of your teeth, treatment with veneers and crowns may be recommended to help strengthen and support your teeth. Brushing with toothpaste for sensitive teeth and getting professional fluoride and remineralization dental treatments may help prevent future enamel erosion. As a last resort, your family dentist may recommend extraction if the enamel erosion has severely weakened your teeth and caused significant damage to the pulp, roots, and nerves. After the teeth have been extracted, dental implants will help prevent your other teeth from shifting and becoming overcrowded.
If you have any of the above risk factors for enamel erosion or if you experience sensitivity or pain in your teeth, make an appointment with your family dentist. An early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further enamel erosion, resulting in better oral health.
Contact a local family dentist to learn more.