Symptoms of dental erosion
One sign of dental erosion is the loss of the surface of the tooth, leading to a smooth, shiny appearance. Dental erosion can also make any exposed tooth root (dentine) sensitive to hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks.
When there is advanced dental erosion, the enamel may wear away to reveal the underlying dentine; these areas look like yellow depressions on the tooth surface. Fillings may start to become more prominent if the surrounding tooth surface is dissolving away due to erosion.
What Causes Dental Erosion?
Many things that we eat and drink are acidic. One of the reasons for this is that acidic things taste nice. Common foods and drinks that contain high levels of acid, include:
- soft drinks (sugar-free and sugar-containing)
- energy drinks
- citrus fruits (lemons, limes, oranges)
- lemon-flavoured drinks or teas
- fruit-flavoured lollies
- most fruit juices
- most cordials
- vitamin waters
- vitamin C tablets
- pre-mixed alcoholic drink
- and more!
How To Prevent Dental Erosion
Dental erosion can be prevented by limiting contact of acids with the teeth. Our dentist recommended tips include;
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Drink fluoridated water rather than soft drink or juice
- Eat fruit rather than drinking fruit juice
- Eat fruit at meal times rather than between meals
- Reduce how often you eat or drink anything acidic and reduce the time it is in your mouth
- Seek medical treatment for management of reflux or vomiting
- Do not chew vitamin C tablets. If necessary, take vitamin C supplements that are swallowed whole
- Use sugar-free chewing gum after meals to promote saliva flow. Saliva is very important for protecting your teeth from erosion
- Consider using dental products containing ‘stannous fluoride’ [tin (II) fluoride]. Recent studies suggest stannous fluoride is effective in reducing tooth erosion
How To Neutralise Acid On Teeth
Following exposure to strong acids, you can help to neutralise the acid by:
- Rinsing your mouth with water or a fluoride mouth rinse
- Rinsing your mouth with a sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) mouth rinse (one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water)
- Consuming dairy products
How To Minimise Tooth Wear
Tips to minimise tooth wear include:
- Use a soft-bristled tooth brush with fluoridated toothpaste.
- Avoid using abrasive toothpastes (some whitening toothpastes and charcoal-based toothpastes are more abrasive).
- Make sure you have neutralised any acid (described above) before brushing your teeth.
- Wear a custom-made dental splint if you grind your teeth at night.
At Albany Dental, we pride ourselves on providing high quality dental services as well as offering a stress-free dental clinic experience for all of our patients.
We accept new and long-term patients from all ages and all health funds.