Tooth Erosion

Acidic foods and drinks cause tooth erosion. It is becoming increasingly more common, mainly due to the greater consumption of fizzy drinks, including diet brands.

Acids in the mouth can dissolve away tooth surfaces. Nevertheless, teeth usually repair themselves using minerals from saliva. But if acid is in the mouth too often, teeth cannot repair themselves, and the hard tooth surface (the enamel) becomes thinner, resulting in dental erosion. In addition, the teeth can become extra sensitive to hot and cold food and drink. Eroded teeth can also be more likely to suffer decay.

The leading cause of erosion is the frequent consumption of certain kinds of food and drink. All fizzy drinks, including diet brands and power drinks, all squashes, and all fruit juices, are acidic to varying degrees. Pickles and citrus fruits are examples of acidic types of food. People with some illnesses, such as eating disorders, may suffer from erosion because of frequent vomiting of stomach acids that erode teeth. For this reason, dentists may ask about eating disorders if they see teeth that are badly eroded.

Tipps to prevent Erosion

  • Avoid consuming acidic food and drinks too often during the day.

  • Try to have them only at mealtimes.

  • Down acidic drinks, ideally through a straw, and don’t sip or swish them around your mouth.

  • Between meals, you should only have safe drinks which are not sugary or acidic. For example, milk and water are safe drinks. So are tea and coffee if you do not add sugar to them (you can use non-sugar sweeteners).

  • Acids temporarily soften the tooth surface, so you should not brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking something acidic.

Your dentist can identify erosion, pinpoint the causes, and advise you on how to prevent further damage.

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