One of the most alarming dental concerns in the world today is dental erosion. What makes it particularly troubling for dentists is that it is a widespread condition that occurs naturally while its effects are permanent and irreversible.
Dental erosion or acid erosion as it is commonly understood is a loss of tooth structure caused by acidic chemicals that are not bacterial in origin.
Usually the enamel of the teeth is eroded by acids that are released by bacteria as they feed on sugars from the food you eat. However, there are other acids which are not bacterial in nature. These are found in foods like colas, fruit juices and alcohol. Additionally, your teeth can be exposed to such acids in other ways, such as swimming in a chlorinated pool, or when you regurgitate your stomach acids. These chemical acids can slowly erode your dental enamel and eventually the underlying dentin, which can cause permanent tooth loss.
While this is most commonly seen in children, it is a widespread dental concern among adults as well that is slowly gaining the attention it deserves.
The symptoms for dental erosion are easy to spot.
- Teeth can change colour.
The cutting edge of the dental incisors may turn transparent due to erosion. Alternately teeth will slowly begin to turn yellow, or adopt a noticeably yellowish tint.
- Teeth can change shape
Teeth can visibly change shape because of dental erosion. They will adopt a broad rounded concaveness while concurrently the gaps between teeth may widen as well.
- Cracking of the teeth
One of the most severe indicators of dental erosion is that teeth begin to crack and coarsen over time.
- Heightened Sensitivity
While dental sensitivity can be caused by a number of other factors, it is one of the most important indicators of dental erosion. One will experience pain when consuming anything hot, cold or sweet.
It is important to consult a dentist at the first sign of dental erosion, for a comprehensive treatment plan. Alternately, here are a few suggestions to mitigate the onset of dental erosion.
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly, preferably after every meal. We recommend using a fluoridated toothpaste for additional protection.
- Visit your dentist for periodic check-ups to ensure optimal dental health.
- Reduce your consumption of acidic foods such as soft drinks, citrus foods and alcohol.
- Remember to rinse your mouth with water after consuming anything acidic. You could alternately consider using a straw to reduce contact with your teeth.
- Eat fewer meals so that you can ensure your teeth are clean and reduce the chances of creating an acidic environment in your mouth.
- Drink plenty of water.