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What is Tooth Erosion? Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Apr 08, 2023

What is Tooth Erosion? Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Tooth erosion is a common dental problem that occurs when the enamel, the protective outer layer of the tooth, wears away due to various reasons including the acids that are released from what you eat or even coming up from your stomach. When the enamel is eroded, the tooth is exposed to harmful bacteria and acids, leading to tooth decay, sensitivity, and other dental problems. In this blog post, we will explore the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of tooth erosion.

Causes of Tooth Erosion:

Tooth erosion can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Acidic Foods and Drinks: Consuming foods and drinks that are high in acid content can erode tooth enamel. Acidic beverages, such as soda, sports drinks, and fruit juices, can cause significant damage to the teeth over time.

  • Acid Reflux: People who suffer from acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) often experience tooth erosion due to the stomach acid that flows back into the mouth.

  • Dry Mouth: A lack of saliva in the mouth can increase the risk of tooth erosion. Saliva helps neutralize acids in the mouth and wash away food particles. Due to a lack of saliva production in the mouth, the teeth are more susceptible to getting eroded as the bacteria that would otherwise be washed away will linger in the mouth only.

  • Teeth Grinding: Grinding or clenching the teeth can cause enamel erosion. While it’s normal for teeth grinding to occur sporadically, when it becomes persistent, it eventually leads to the wearing down of your teeth enamel.

  • Genetics: Some people may have naturally weaker enamel, which increases the risk of tooth erosion. In this case, it would be helpful to maintain a rich and wholesome diet and follow and follow a good oral care routine to support dental health.

Diagnosis of Tooth Erosion:

A dentist can diagnose tooth erosion by examining the teeth and taking x-rays. The dentist will look for signs of enamel loss, such as thinning or transparency of the teeth, rounded edges, or dents on the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

Treatment of Tooth Erosion:

The treatment of tooth erosion depends on the severity of the condition. In the early stages of tooth erosion, the dentist may recommend the following:

  • Fluoride Treatments: It can help remineralize the teeth and strengthen the enamel. You may either need a professional fluoride treatment or a toothpaste and mouth rinse containing fluoride. 

  • Changes in Diet: Avoiding acidic foods and drinks can help prevent further erosion. Rather, choose to enjoy wholesome foods that are not extremely processed or junk.

  • Saliva Substitutes: If dry mouth is the cause of tooth erosion, using saliva substitutes can help reduce the risk of further erosion.

  • Restorative Dentistry: In cases of severe tooth erosion, the dentist may recommend restorative treatments, such as dental crowns, fillings, or bonding, to restore the function and appearance of the teeth.

Prevention of Tooth Erosion:

Preventing tooth erosion involves maintaining good oral hygiene habits and avoiding the factors that can cause erosion, such as consuming acidic foods and drinks. Some preventive measures include:

Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste : Although too much brushing is contraindicated, it is essential to do gentle brushing twice a day to ensure your mouth remains free from bacteria that may expedite the erosion further. 

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush : This one is extremely important as using hard bristles may further erode the enamel and lead to erosion. ORACURA offers DuPont soft bristles for gentle cleaning and extra care if you’re looking to upgrade your oral care routine. 

Flossing daily : As opposed to traditional flossing which can often be difficult and even lead to bleeding, using a Water Flosser at least once a day is more effective in getting rid of the food particles that stick to the teeth.

Drinking plenty of water to keep the mouth hydrated : Dry mouth due to any reason can lead to tooth erosion, so it is important to keep yourself hydrated with water throughout the day. 

Avoid acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, soda, and sports drinks : As discussed above, acidic foods are one of the primary culprits of tooth erosion. Avoiding them is crucial to prevent that from happening.

Although tooth erosion is a common dental problem, it can lead to serious dental issues if left untreated. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options, one can take steps to prevent and manage tooth erosion, protecting their teeth and overall oral health. Following a good oral care routine that includes brushing twice a day and flossing at least once using a Water Flosser is important to maintain good dental health. If you’re looking to upgrade your oral care routine, check out superior performing advanced oral care products from ORACURA that are among the top recommendation by even dentists.