Enamel is the outer protective layer for your teeth and helps protect against physical and chemical damage. Enamel is very strong – in fact it is the hardest tissue in the human body, tougher than the bone itself, however it can become eroded and one of the main causes of this is due to the amount of consumed acidic foods and beverages.
High acidic foods and beverages that are known to cause teeth erosion are;
- Wine (whether it be Red, Rose or White)
- Fruit juices
- Starchy foods such as white bread
- Citric fruits (Oranges, Lemons, Limes)
- Ice cream/syrups
- Stomach acid (only when you have vomited)
Over time, constant consumption of acidic products will wear the enamel away leaving your teeth vulnerable to erosion, damage, decay, gum disease etc. Although acids are a main cause of erosion, other causes include:;
- Grinding your teeth
- Chronic Acid Reflux (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
- Low salivary flow (Xerostomia) this is often a symptom of Diabetes.
- Regular use of certain medications (Antihistamines and Aspirin)
- Bulimia – this exposes teeth to stomach acid
Symptoms of enamel erosion consist of;
- Increased sensitivity when exposed to hot, cold, acidic and spicy food and drinks
- Cracks and/or chips
How can I prevent my teeth from eroding?
Even though enamel is very tough, it doesn’t contain living cells therefore it is unable to repair itself. However, the erosion of your enamel takes a long time, meaning it may be preventable.
There are ways to treat and prevent erosion from home and professionally – depending on the severity of your case, your dentist may suggest ‘Bonding’ which is a procedure in which a tooth coloured material (resin) is applied to your stained/damaged teeth. The resin will cover up discolourations and protect your tooth/teeth from further damage. If your eroded teeth are your front two – then you may want to consider this. Although, in severe cases, your dentist may add a crown or veneer to your eroded teeth or tooth to prevent further decay.
To ensure you are preventing enamel erosion it’s important you take good care of your oral hygiene by brushing your teeth at least twice a day, using dental floss and mouthwash. It is recommended to use mouthwash about 30 minutes after brushing.
If you leave your eroding teeth/tooth untreated then it may result in further complications such as;
- Yellow/stained teeth
- Overly sensitive teeth
- Rough edges
- Shiny spots
- Increased tooth decay
- Wearing of enamel making it look translucent
- Fractured teeth
For more information on dental health please contact Mark Tangri Dental today on 0333 1234 999.
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How Does Oral Health Affect Overall Health?