Erosion

What is erosion?

Tooth erosion occurs when the teeth are exposed to acids, causing their surface layer to dissolve. These acids (which are present in fruit juices, soft drinks, and stomach acid reflux, etc) soften the enamel of the tooth causing it to gradually wear away. Unlike tooth decay, which might only occur in one tooth, tooth erosion affects all teeth. It is most commonly caused by the consumption of sugary drinks. Even some products marketed as health drinks can have extremely high acid content and will have adverse effects on teeth if consumed regularly. Teeth are most vulnerable immediately after consuming such drinks, as the enamel has been softened. For this reason, it is advisable to wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth.

Effects

Layers of tooth enamel begin to peel away like the layers of an onion, and this can slowly reduce the size of the teeth. This condition is painless and can sometimes go unnoticed until severe, irreversible damage had been done.

Prevention

Prevention of tooth erosion begins in the supermarket. Try to avoid purchasing products with high sugar content, especially sugary, carbonated drinks.

If you’re not able to cut out soft drinks completely, try to limit consumption to mealtimes only and use a straw to avoid contact with tooth surfaces.

Never ever give soft drinks to a toddler in a bottle.

Never swish and hold soft drinks in the mouth.

After consuming soft drinks, wait for at least one hour before brushing your teeth in order to avoid brushing away softened enamel.

Treatment

Early detection can prevent erosion from becoming a more serious issue. A Toothpic assessment may be able to detect erosion in the early stages, and our dentist will be able to give you advice about how you can improve your oral hygiene and reduce the likelihood of erosion.

 

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