Dental Erosion: The Causes, Symptoms and How We Treat it
Our teeth are one of the most important parts of our bodies; they help us to eat, speak and even smile. Unfortunately, they’re also susceptible to damage from several different sources, including dental erosion. Dental erosion is the progressive loss of teeth due to acidic foods and drinks, medications, or other acidic exposures.
Dental erosion can occur in anybody at any age, but it can be especially severe in those with dry mouths if they don’t produce enough saliva to neutralise the acids. It has several symptoms, such as chalky, pitted, yellow or discoloured teeth and sharpened edges sensitive to hot, cold, sugary and acidic substances. This can eventually lead to tooth decay and other problems.
The Main Causes of Dental Erosion
So, what causes dental erosion? There are two leading causes – external and internal. External causes include diet, medications and exposure to environmental acids. Foods and drinks such as fruit juices, soft drinks, sports drinks, wine, citrus fruits, vinegar and foods with additives like citric acid or phosphoric acid are all to blame. Caffeine can reduce saliva production, making erosion more likely. At the same time, people in certain occupations, such as wine professionals and factory workers, exposed to industrial acids are also at increased risk. Internal factors include excessive vomiting, gastric reflux and reduced saliva production.
Treating Dental Erosion
The good news is that dentists can treat teeth erosion. Fluoride varnishes, remineralising treatments such as calcium and phosphate, and management plan to avoid further damage can all be used. Discuss your options with your doctor or relevant specialist if associated with a medical condition like gastric reflux.
Preventing Dental Erosion from Occurring
Fortunately, prevention is also possible. Cut down on acidic foods and drinks, chew sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating or drinking acidic substances and drink plenty of water throughout the day. You should also get regular dental check-ups and brush your teeth with a toothbrush that is soft and fluoride toothpaste after consuming acidic drinks or vomiting. Finally, never give sugary beverages or fruit juice to babies and toddlers, as these can damage their developing teeth.
Taking these steps to protect your teeth is essential, as dental erosion can damage your oral health. So, keep these tips in mind and ensure you look after your pearly whites!
Brush and Floss Regularly
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, once in the mornings after breakfast and then again before bed, with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a good fluoride toothpaste. Brushing helps to remove plaque, which is the leading cause of tooth decay and other oral health problems. Additionally, it would be best if you flossed at least once a day as this helps remove plaque and food particles between the teeth, which brushing alone cannot do.
Choose the Right Toothbrush
Using the right toothbrush can significantly improve your oral hygiene routine. Hard toothbrushes are more harmful than helpful, as they wear down enamel and cause inflammation in gums and other soft tissues. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are the best option for gentle cleaning and prevention of dental erosion.
Snacking between meals can increase the chances of dental erosion, as acidic foods and drinks can linger on the teeth for much longer if you don’t brush them away. Limiting snacks and eating three balanced meals daily, accompanied by plenty of water, can help reduce the risk of dental erosion.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups is key to keeping your teeth healthy, as they can spot problems early on and stop them from becoming more serious. Your dentist may also recommend a rinse or special paste to help increase the protective layer of enamel on your teeth and reduce the risk of damage.
Schedule an Appointment Today
We offer same-day visits and late opening hours that work around your schedule. Have your teeth started to erode, looking a little worn down perhaps? Contact our team today to discuss dental erosion. We’re providers with Medibank, HCF and MDF. You can claim your health fund rebate on the spot with our HICAPS machine.
* Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.
Common Questions & Answers Related to Dental Erosion
What is dental erosion?
Dental erosion is the progressive loss of teeth due to acidic foods and drinks, medications, or other acidic exposures and is one of many common dental conditions you might face in your life. It can cause symptoms such as chalky, pitted, yellow or discoloured teeth and sharpened edges that are sensitive to hot, cold, sugary, and acidic substances.
What causes dental erosion?
There are two main causes of dental erosion – external and internal. External causes include diet, medications and exposure to environmental acids, while internal factors include excessive vomiting, gastric reflux and reduced saliva production.
Does Brighton Dental Suite Often See Dental Erosion in Toddlers and Children?
Dental erosion is a common issue among toddlers and children, particularly those who consume sugary or acidic foods and drinks or have poor oral hygiene habits. Early intervention is crucial in preventing dental erosion and other dental problems. At Brighton Dental Suite, we emphasize the importance of establishing good oral hygiene practices and healthy dietary habits at a young age to promote optimal dental health. If you are worried about your child’s dental health, our dentists are here to provide expert guidance and care. Schedule a consultation with us to discuss your child’s dental needs and develop a personalized plan for prevention and treatment.
Do you have many patients with yellow stained teeth at Brighton Dental Suite?
At Brighton Dental Suite, we often see patients with yellow-stained teeth. If you are experiencing this issue, we recommend scheduling a consultation with one of our dentists to determine the cause and the most suitable treatment options for your specific needs. Our team is dedicated to providing high-quality care to help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile.
How can I prevent dental erosion?
To prevent dental erosion, try to cut down on acidic foods and drinks, chew sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating or drinking acidic substances, drink plenty of water throughout the day, get regular dental check-ups, brush your teeth with a toothbrush that is soft and strong fluoride toothpaste after consuming acidic drinks or vomiting, and avoid giving sugary drinks or fruit juice to babies and toddlers.
What treatments are available for dental erosion?
Fluoride varnishes, remineralising treatments such as calcium and phosphate, and management plan to avoid further damage are all available treatments for dental erosion. Discuss your options with your doctor or relevant specialist if associated with a medical condition like gastric reflux.
Our Concluding Thoughts on Dental Erosion
Dental erosion can lead to severe tooth damage and decay, so we must do all we can to prevent it. Following a balanced diet, limiting acidic substances, brushing and flossing regularly and visiting your dentist regularly, can all help to protect your teeth from erosion. With these tips, you can enjoy your beautiful smile for years to come!