Tooth erosion is different from tooth decay. Let’s begin by stating both cause damage to our enamel and ultimately our teeth. The biggest difference relates to the long-term effects of this damage. One can be controlled and the other causes permanent, damage, but which is which?
We damage our teeth by improper oral hygiene, but also by the foods we eat and the drinks we consume. That damage usually begins with tooth erosion.
Are your teeth sensitive when you drink hot beverages or eat ice cream? Have your teeth lost their luster and appear to be translucent? These are some of the signs of tooth erosion.
Erosion is a common loss of tooth structure caused mainly by acid. The acid attacks the enamel on the surface of our teeth and breaks through that tough barrier weakening it. As the protective enamel layer is worn down over time, it causes pain and discoloured teeth.
Too much acid in our foods and drinks, plus other physical issues, can exacerbate the progression of erosion. This in turn causes a propensity for cracked or broken teeth and an increase in decay. Unfortunately you cannot restore enamel once it is gone.
Our children are especially susceptible to tooth erosion, so watch what they eat and drink and set a good example.
Some Good News About Erosion
Avoiding certain foods and drinks and practising proper oral hygiene can help control erosion of tooth enamel.
- Stop drinking soda or effervescent drinks, both sugar-free and regular.
- Avoid sugary snacks, especially those that are chewy and stay in your mouth.
- Drink lots of water and avoid flavoured waters.
- Avoid fruit juices, although they are much better than sodas.
- Chew sugarless gum, drink more tea, both green and black, to neutralize the acid, and increase your intake of dairy products with calcium.
The Oakville Place Dental Office offers simple repairs for tooth erosion, including bonding and crowns, plus fluoride treatments to protect your teeth from further damage.
Tooth erosion makes your teeth more susceptible to tooth decay. Once the protective enamel is weakened or worn down, your teeth become a beacon for bacteria and acid with nothing to protect them.
Combined with the acid in your mouth from food and drink, plus natural bacteria, plaque forms on your teeth. Unless you follow a daily regimen of brushing twice a day and flossing to remove the plaque, you have set yourself up for tooth decay.
The bad news here is that tooth decay is permanent and can only be repaired by a dental professional.
Control tooth erosion with a healthy diet, schedule regular professional cleanings and maintain oral hygiene habits.
Keep your healthy and beautiful smile for a lifetime!
Contact Oakville Place Dental Office with questions or if you are having issues with tooth erosion.