A BLOG FROM YOUR AFFORDABLE BUFORD DENTIST, LAKE LANIER SMILES
Tooth Enamel is the toughest substance in our body but still can get damaged by the strong acids present in our day to day foods and drinks. In this blog the doctors of Lake Lanier Smiles explain the causes, signs, prevention and treatment of the Acid Erosion.
So what is Enamel? Enamel is the outer covering of the tooth, which is whitish appearing and transparent layer. It prevents the much softer tooth structures inside from extreme temperatures, harsh foods we drink and eat and daily wear and tear. If we lose enamel we will be prone to get cavities and have sensitive teeth.
WHAT IS EROSION
Enamel Erosion is a process where the acidic foods and drinks we consume wear the enamel of the tooth making it prone for tooth sensitivity and decay. Other terms we use are Acid Erosion, Tooth Erosion
CAUSES OF EROSION
Understand that there are other ways you can damage the enamel like Bruxism (teeth grinding) and Abrasion (brushing hard) but this article specifically explains the causes of erosion.
1. Soft Drinks consumption, most of the soft drinks/cola we consume has high levels of phosphoric acids and citric acids.
2. Sports Drinks/ Energy Drinks, even though they have minerals added but they are very acidic.
3. Fruit Juices, yes Orange juice is acidic
4. Medical conditions like Acid reflux, Bulimia can cause stomach acids to reach mouth and damage the enamel.
5. Chewing on lot of Vitamin C supplements, as they have lot of acid in them.
6. Eating diets containing high sugar and starch like candies can be turned to acids by the bacteria in the mouth.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF EROSION
In the early stages of erosion you might not feel any symptoms but as the condition worsens you might see the following symptoms. But periodic check up with the dentists at Lake Lanier Smiles, can help diagnose the condition sooner and address it.
1. Mild to Severe sensitivity or pain when eating hot or cold foods or when exposed to sweet foods or drinks.
2. Yellowish discoloration of the teeth.
3. Transparency of the tooth will be affected.
4. Cracked or chipped teeth edges due to weakened enamel.
5. Indentations on the biting surface called “cupping”.
WHO IS AT RISK OF ENAMEL EROSION
Basically everyone is at risk of developing acid erosion as everybody’s diet has acidic foods. Even the healthiest of diets like having fruits and vegetables can cause acid erosion. Here is a list of people who are more prone for acid erosion.
1. People who eat lot of fruits and vegetables, as these foods have high acidic content.
2. People who drink lot of fruit juices or soft drinks or sports drinks. This is mostly true in teenagers.
3. Children and Older adults are also prone to acid erosion as baby teeth enamel is softer and older adults suffer from dry mouth due to medical conditions and medications they take.
STEPS TO PREVENT ACID EROSION
FYI, we cannot grow the enamel back once we lose, so we have to take steps to protect the enamel. The main causes of the enamel erosion is the simple things we eat and drink. We will let you know in this section what habits we can change to protect our pearly whites.
1. Avoid highly acid foods and drinks from your diet.
2. Drink plenty of water or rinse your mouth with water after consuming acidic foods and drinks as it will neutralize the acids in the mouth.
3. Do Not Brush at least 30 minutes after you eat acidic food as the tooth get softened by acids and by brushing will take away the tooth enamel.
4. Use straw when drinking fruit juices or any acidic liquids as it will bypass the teeth. Also don’t swish the acidic drinks in the mouth.
5. Drink plenty of water throughout the day if you have dry mouth.
6. Always use a soft brush and do not use excess force when brushing. Be Gentle.
7. Chewing gum helps produce saliva and which will in turn reduce the acidity of the foods in the mouth.
8. Highly recommend a Fluoride tooth paste and mouthwash, like ProNamel.
9. Drinking milk can help reduce the acidic content of the mouth.
10. Check with your physician for treatment for acid reflux and any other medical conditions.
TREATMENT FOR EROSION
Treatment for erosion depends on the severity of enamel erosion. If it’s mild, then bonding the tooth can help. If it’s severe then the tooth can be crowned. Based on your condition the dentists at Lake Lanier Smiles can tailor the best treatment option for you.
If you have any questions about your Oral Health or to make an appointment to see us, Call us at 770-831-0559 or visit us at WWW. LAKELANIERSMILES.COM for Valuable Coupons and Specials. Our prices are 30-50 % Off Regular Prices. Call Us before Noon and we will see you the Same Day. We accept most insurances. We are conveniently located just off I-985 at 4965 Lanier Islands Parkway, Suite 105, Buford, Ga- 30418. LAKE LANIER SMILES provides Affordable dental care with outstanding customer service to patients in Buford, Sugar Hill, Suwanee, Cumming, Flowery Branch and surrounding areas.