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What is tooth erosion?

What is tooth erosion?

Acidosis, you may have heard your dentist use the word before. Often g often accompanied by questions about your diet, such as how often you drink a glass of cola. Acid erosion, also known as enamel erosion, is wear and tear on your teeth and is mainly caused by your eating habits. And once tooth enamel wears down, it does not come back. In some cases, crowns and veneers offer a solution. How can you prevent enamel erosion and is there a treatment?

What is tooth erosion?

What you use wears out. So do your teeth. Your teeth are made to last your lifetime. Once out, a tooth does not grow back, unless it is your baby teeth of course. A gap in your mouth is prone to infections and although there are fine dentures these days, nothing beats your own strong teeth. Declining tooth enamel is called enamel erosion or enamel erosion. In the beginning, it is mainly the dentist and dental hygienist who notice it. As tooth erosion progresses, your teeth become more sensitive and yellowish.

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What causes enamel erosion on teeth?

Acid foods

Tooth enamel dissolves under the influence of acids. Your enamel becomes soft and declining tooth enamel only accelerates that way. Soft drinks are a notoriously acidic food, although you don’t taste it because of the many sugars and sweeteners in them. Malic acid is also often added to juices, and (orange) apple juice is naturally about as acidic as cola (light) or heartburn. Healthy eating is good for you, but many fruits are quite acidic, especially citrus fruits. Eat or drink these foods in moderation and your tooth enamel will thank you.

Sugar

Besides acidic, sugary foods are harmful to your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth love sugar and convert it into acids. Actually, therefore, just as bad as acidic foods. And with soft drinks or apple syrup, for example, you first give your teeth acid, and then again thanks to the waste products of the bacteria in your mouth. So double watch out!

Eating and drinking habits

The more often you eat, the less chance your saliva has to neutralise your mouth. Stick to three meals and four snacks in between. Don’t flush less sensible foods down your mouth either, but swallow them without touching your teeth. Drinking with a straw can help with this.

Medication and heartburn

Some medications are acidic or inhibit your saliva production, so acid and sugar remain in your mouth for longer. No reason to stop your medication, but a reason to watch out with other foods. If you suffer from rising heartburn or vomiting, it can also affect your enamel.

Symptoms of different stages of enamel erosion

The first to notice erosion of enamel is the person who does your dental check-up. At further stages of enamel erosion, you notice it yourself, for example by sensitivity. The cut edges also become thinner, which can make your teeth more yellowish and change shape. The more you notice, the more advanced the erosion is.

Treatment of tooth erosion

Erosion of the teeth is not treatable. However, a dental hygienist can restore teeth with composite fillings, or in severe cases, treat them with veneers, inlays or crowns.

What can I do to limit erosion?

Preventing declining tooth enamel is best. Watch your diet and brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Use a soft toothbrush and supplement once a day with interdental cleaning (floss, stoker, brush). In addition, visit a dentist regularly.

Frequently asked questions

Acid erosion is wear of tooth enamel. Enamel wears down through diet and once worn down, it does not return. Enamel erosion is particularly caused by foods high in sugars and/or acids such as soft drinks and juices.

Erosion of the teeth cannot be treated. Your teeth can be restored with fillings, but prevention is better than cure. Visit a dentist regularly and maintain good daily oral hygiene.