Acidic beverages and sugary foods can wear away tooth enamel. Unfortunately, damaged tooth enamel is permanent and increases the risk for tooth decay.
Tooth enamel is the thin outer covering of the teeth. It is the hardest substance in your body. But acidic foods and beverages can wreak havoc on tooth enamel.
Soft drinks, fruit drinks, alcoholic beverages and sports drinks are highly acidic and frequent consumption of these acidic beverages can harm your tooth enamel. Sugary foods and some medications, such as aspirin, can also damage tooth enamel. Acid reflux is another culprit.
Recent studies show that teens are especially at risk for tooth erosion. One study confirmed that over 45% of teens aged 13 to 19 have tooth erosion. Another indicated that 56% of teenagers aged 18 to 19 had tooth erosion.
Tooth enamel cannot be regrown or regenerated, so it’s important to protect the teeth. Prevent tooth erosion by limiting intake of acidic and sugary beverages and foods. Sipping water while you eat sugary treats can help to wash particles from teeth. If acid reflux is a frequent occurrence, see your doctor. Many effective treatments are available. Follow a regular oral care routine by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
Fluoride has been shown to be beneficial in strengthening and protecting teeth. Over 50 scientific studies have documented the benefits of fluoride in protecting tooth enamel.
Some toothpastes contain minerals that help to replenish calcium in weak spots. These toothpastes reinforce areas where erosion has occurred and can lessen further damage.
Talk to your dentist about which toothpaste is best for you.
Get regular dental checkups with and oral hygiene cleaning to identify problems early and address them promptly.
Tooth enamel erosion can be readily identified. Symptoms of enamel loss include increased sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet foods, yellowness of the teeth, and roughness on the edges of the teeth. (Photo illustrates acid erosion of teeth caused by frequent consumption of soft drinks. View before and after photos of patient).
Acid erosion can become so extensive in some cases that root canal therapy or even tooth extraction may be indicated.
Dr. Glenn Wolfinger stated, “Lost tooth enamel can be replaced with porcelain restorations (veneers or dental crowns). Crowns tend to be the stronger and more effective way to replace missing enamel.”
Prosthodontists are the specialists in the restoration and replacement of teeth. Dr. Wolfinger is a board certified prosthodontist in the Philadelphia area, and can provide expert diagnosis and treatment for tooth erosion.
Call us at 215-646-6334 to discuss acid erosion and your teeth and to learn about rebuilding a smile. If you’ve noticed changes in the appearance or sensitivity of your teeth like breakage, discolorations, shifting or tooth pain, feel free to give us a call to discuss treatment options. At Pi Dental Center, we create sparkling smiles.