Over time, normal wear and tear can cause our tooth enamel to wear away, making the teeth appear transparent. This is a natural form of tooth discoloration, but the process is often sped along by the effects of acid erosion.
What is acid erosion?
Acid erosion is a type of tooth wear that occurs when the acids in the food and beverages we consume begins to eat away at it. While soft drinks are one of the most common causes of acid erosion, it can also be caused by beverages such as wine and orange juice may cause acid erosion as well. Over time, the effects of acid erosion become apparent, as the tooth enamel wears away, causing the dentin underneath to become exposed.
How will acid erosion be treated?
When dental erosion occurs, it can weaken your teeth, causing them to become more prone to breaking, chipping, or cracking. In most cases, this will be treated using dental bonding in order to slowly build the tooth back up to health. In some cases, the dentist may also recommend treatments such as porcelain veneers or even dental crowns in order to protect the tooth and prevent any further damage from occurring. If your acid erosion is being caused by a medical problem such as GERD or acid reflux disease, this will need to be treated as soon as possible to prevent the damage from continuing.
Can acid erosion be prevented?
In some cases, the answer is yes. If your acid erosion is being caused by dietary habits and not an underlying medical condition, it is entirely possible to prevent further erosion by modifying the diet. Avoid especially acidic foods and beverages, and use a soft bristled toothbrush. Our dentist may also recommend that you use a fluoride gel, rinse, or lozenge in order to help remineralize the teeth, building the enamel back up to a healthy level. You may also wish to begin using acid neutralizing agents such as antacids, or increase your intake of dairy products, which can help to reduce acid levels in the mouth and stomach.
If you feel that you are experiencing the effects of acid erosion, or if you have other dental health questions, call our office today to schedule a consultation. Our caring staff will be happy to answer any questions you might have, and we look forward to helping ensure that your smile is as healthy and bright as possible for years to come.