Dental Erosion

Dental erosion is the loss of tooth enamel and other tooth structure from frequent exposure to strong acids. The most common causes are:

The loss of enamel may be slight to virtually total. In severe cases, the teeth can be dissolved down to the gum line.

When tooth enamel is increasingly eroded, and the dentine and pulp become exposed, pain and sensitivity are common symptoms. lf the erosion is not limited and the tooth is not treated, abscess and loss of the tooth may occur.

Dentists report that dental erosion has become more frequent, particularly amongst children, teenagers and young adults.

Dental erosion is not the same as tooth decay, although the two conditions can happen at the same time. Tooth decay (caries) occurs when bacteria in the mouth turn sugar into acid, which can damage the tooth. Poor oral hygiene and frequent consume tin of sugar are the cause of tooth decay.


Common acid sources and risk factors

The first step in treatment is to avoid, limit or manage the exposure to acids. The dentist will help you identify your acid sources and risk factors, which may include:

This is not a complete list. There are infrequent causes not listed here.


Your dental and medical history

The dentist will inspect your teeth and may take X-tay films. Tell the dentist your full dental and medical history. This may influence decisions on treatment. Your dentist may investigate and test the acidity of your saliva.

You may have other dental problems such as tooth decay or gum disease that also need treatment.


Professional treatments

You must avoid acid sources to stop further dental erosion. Various treat meanest are then available. The dentist will choose the best treatment for you depending on various {actors, including the location and degree of your dental erosion. The dentist may suggest a combination of treatments.

In mild cases, the dentist may recommend the use of a fluoride tooth paste and a topical creme containing CPP-ACP. The dentist may apply a fluoride varnish to your teeth to help protect the remaining enamel against further erosion.

Severely eroded teeth may need to have root canal treatment or extraction. Restorative treatments can improve the function and appearance of your teeth. ADA patient education pamphlets on the following restorative treatments may be helpful:

Consult with your physician or family doctor if your acid source is due to a medicine or a medical condition. In some cases, the doctor can prescribe a different medicine or course of treatment that may reduce your risk of erosion. However, this is not always possible.

The dentist will not perform any definitive restorative dental work while the acid source and erosion are ongoing. However, the dentist can help you to limit further dental erosion. For example, the dentist may treat some teeth with a composite resin, which forms a physical barrier between the teeth and the acids.


Care for your teeth

Here are easy and effective steps to limit or prevent erosion of teeth.


The dentist may fit you with a splint if you tend to grind your teeth in your sleep (bruxism). This will help to minimise mechanical damage to teeth. Erosion can accelerate tooth wear due to bruxism. Your dentist may have more suggestions that apply to you. Follow instructions carefully.


Monitoring is important

As dental erosion tends to recur, particularly if the cause is related to medicines or gastric reflux (with stomach acid reaching the mouth), you need to visit the dentist regularly. To check for dental erosion, your dentist may: