Tooth Erosion

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Tooth Erosion

Enamel is the hard substance that coats and protects teeth. If the enamel is damaged or wears off, it can expose the dentine layer, which will cause pain and sensitivity.

What Causes Tooth Erosion?

Our daily lives involve eating and drinking and some of these items are acidic, which affects the enamel. Usually the natural saliva in your mouth will wash away the acid and repair itself. However, if you consume too much acid or too often, your saliva will not be sufficient to remove the substance. Then small pock marks will develop in the enamel. Those small indentations can grow and suddenly you are facing serious enamel loss.

There are some stop gap measures:

  • Limit your soft drink consumption to just mealtimes.  This will limit the amount and frequency of the acid.
  • Swallow promptly without holding the drink in your mouth
  • Use a straw
  • Finish the meal with cheese or milk to cancel the acid.
  • Chew sugar free gum after eating.  This will produce saliva to help wash the acid away.
  • Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste and a small headed toothbrush with medium to soft bristles.  Make sure you brush at least once through the day and as the last thing at night.
  • Children who are 3 years old or younger should use a fluoride level toothpaste of 1000 ppm (parts per million).  Anyone older should use a paste of 1350 to 1500 ppm.
    After brushing spit out but do not rinse.  That will leave the fluoride treatment on your teeth for a longer period of time.

Dental erosion is not a foregone conclusion. With regular check ups and in consultation with your dental team, the problem can be stopped in its tracks. It is important to preserve the enamel layer to prevent damage to the dentine and stop any tooth sensitivity.