The enamel that coats your teeth is the hardest substance found in the human body. However, it is also the one that has to withstand the most challenging attacks, especially with our 21st-century dietary habits. Enamel is tough, but it is not indestructible, and when it wears away to expose the dentine underneath, it cannot be replaced.
Yet, that is not to say that dental erosion is untreatable. If you are suffering from this kind of tooth wear, the Glow Dental team can take adequate measures to ease sensitivity, restore aesthetics and prevent the damage from getting any worse.
Causes of Dental Erosion
The enamel protecting your teeth is under constant attack. Every time you consume acidic food or drink, enamel temporarily loses its outer mineral layer and effectively softens. Under normal circumstances, the alkali in your saliva counteracts the acidity and restores balance. However, the more acidic your diet, the greater the damage, and over time, the enamel loses its ability to recover and wears away.
The most common cause is modern-day diets. Fizzy drinks are common culprits, but fruit juice is also highly acidic, despite its otherwise healthy properties. However, the reason can sometimes come from internal factors. If you suffer from dry mouth or a gastric condition like IBS or acid reflux, the saliva might be less effective at protecting the enamel from the effects of acidic foods and drinks.
Has Your Enamel Eroded?
Sometimes, dental erosion can occur without you even being aware that it is happening. However, it is common to notice increased sensitivity in short, sharp twinges of pain when consuming very hot or very cold substances. Teeth discolouration is another common symptom as more dentin is exposed, giving the affected area a yellow hue.
Treatment Options for Dental Erosion
Enamel is more than 95 per cent inorganic. The body is not able to grow more, so it cannot be repaired or replaced. But there are treatments we can offer at Glow Dental that will arrest the erosion and manage the symptoms, reducing the sensitivity and restoring your glowing smile.
The recommended course of treatment will depend on your particular circumstances and symptoms, as well as the severity of the dental erosion. In mild cases, it might be sufficient to use specially formulated toothpaste that gives your natural saliva a helping hand in protecting the enamel and preventing further damage.
In more advanced cases, treatment options include tooth bonding to strengthen the overall structure of the tooth or the fitting of ceramic crowns to add an artificial layer of protection and at the same time restore the whiteness of your smile. Your dentist will run through all the options, providing recommendations based on your circumstances and lifestyle.
Common Questions For Teeth Erosion
Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Once the protective layer of enamel has worn away, there is no getting it back. However, there are ranges of treatments available that will arrest the deterioration and treat dental erosion symptoms.
Tooth erosion happens when the enamel wears away. The root causes of enamel breakdown are usually dietary. Sodas and other carbonated soft drinks are among the usual suspects, but juices and smoothies, which are otherwise beneficial to health, can also be highly acidic. The acids present in some fruit drinks are even more erosive than sulphuric acid!
There are several measures you can take to protect the enamel on your teeth. The most important is to follow a good oral hygiene routine that involves daily brushing and flossing. When you brush and floss regularly, you’re reducing the likelihood of harmful deposits building up and attacking the enamel. Moderating your alcohol consumption, fizzy drinks, citric juices, and other acidic foods and drinks will also help.
In the early stages, there might be no visible signs at all. However, as more enamel wears away, the dentine beneath becomes exposed, revealing areas that look like yellow craters in the tooth.
Pain and sensitivity are likely to be the first clues you get that your tooth enamel is eroding. You might only notice this periodically in the early stages, but as the erosion gets accelerates, so do the symptoms. That’s why it is vital to get your dentist to check for deterioration at the first signs of trouble.