Dental Erosion

Most people know that eating too much sugar can cause tooth decay. But even people with healthy eating habits and who brush frequently can get dental erosion. Dental erosion is very different to decay, but can be just as bad for teeth.

When strong acid is frequently present, the mouthʼs natural defence system can no longer deal with the problem, and faster tooth wear occurs.

Sometimes erosion results in the soft inner part of the tooth being exposed, which usually causes severe sensitivity.

Acids are present in:

Some natural remedies can be highly acidic, and potentially damaging to the teeth. Cider vinegar, lemon juice, herbal teas and Vitamin C mouth rinses should be used with caution; always follow with rinsing and drinking water.

Controlling dental erosion

Dry mouth and erosion

Saliva is the mouthʼs own cleaning system — it dilutes and washes away food particles and acids. lf you often have a dry mouth, erosion may damage your teeth more quickly.

Dry mouth can be caused by some medications. Your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative if your medication is causing dry mouth or gastric reflux.


Acid reflux or vomiting problem

This cause of erosion can be the most difficult to control. Gastric juices contain strong acids that can cause damage to tooth enamel and exposed root surfaces. After vomiting, the sour, unpleasant taste shows that acid is present, and may be softening the surface of the teeth.

When this happens

  1. rinse the mouth thoroughly with water, milk or fluoride mouth rinse
  2. rub toothpaste over your teeth with your finger this will help to freshen your mouth, and toughen your teeth.
  3. avoid brushing your teeth until the enamel has had a chance to recover (about 30 minutes). Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush to reduce the wear on teeth that are exposed to acid attack.

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