Dental erosion is a common dental problem that affects many people. It is a condition in which the enamel on the teeth gradually wears away due to exposure to acidic substances. Although dental erosion can be minor, it can have a significant impact without treatment. Therefore, it is vital to talk to your dentist when you begin feeling symptoms.
What is Dental Erosion?
Dental erosion is the gradual loss of enamel on the teeth due to exposure to acidic substances. Acidic substances can come from food and drinks and stomach acid in cases of acid reflux or bulimia. When the enamel on the teeth wears away, the teeth become more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Over time, your teeth can become more susceptible to decay and cavities.
How to Avoid Dental Erosion?
Limiting your exposure to acidic substances is the best way to avoid dental erosion. As a result, there are several ideas that you can implement.
Change your diet: Foods and drinks high in acid, such as citrus fruits and juices, sports drinks, and soda, can contribute to dental erosion. Limit your intake of these foods and drinks, and try to rinse your mouth with water afterward.
Use a straw: When drinking acidic beverages, use a straw to help limit the contact of the liquid with your teeth. This can minimize the contact of acid with your teeth.
Rinse your mouth with water: After consuming acidic foods and drinks, rinse your mouth with water to help neutralize the acid and protect your teeth.
Chew sugar-free gum: Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help increase saliva production, which can help neutralize acids in the mouth.
Good oral hygiene: Brush and floss your teeth regularly to help remove plaque and bacteria contributing to dental erosion.
Treatment options for dental erosion depend on the severity of the condition.
Dental bonding: In cases of mild erosion, dental bonding may be an option to restore the appearance of the teeth and protect the remaining enamel. Dental bonding is a tooth-colored resin that blends with your smile. In as little as one session, you can have a stronger, brighter smile.
Crowns: In more severe cases of erosion, a dental crown may be necessary to restore the shape and function of the affected tooth.
Toothpaste: Your dental professional may recommend toothpaste specifically designed for people with dental erosion to help strengthen enamel and protect against further damage.
Lifestyle changes: Besides these treatment options, lifestyle changes may be necessary to prevent further erosion. This may include dietary changes, quitting smoking, and managing acid reflux or other medical conditions.