Dental Erosion

7/8/13    
Most of us recognize erosion of a creek bank, but we may not know that a tooth’s enamel- the hard layer on the outer surface of a tooth- can erode, causing tooth sensitivity and leaving the tooth unprotected from bacteria. Enamel erosion is caused by an acidic environment inside the mouth. The body has a natural defense against this problem. It can use calcium found in saliva and fluoride found in toothpaste, water, or other sources to repair enamel and prevent erosion. Problems occur when the environment of the mouth is overwhelmed by acids from sources outside and inside the body. Outside sources include acidic foods and drinks, especially sports drinks, diet drinks, and carbonated drinks. Some medicines, and even excessive chlorine in water, can affect the teeth. Acid reflux, problems that cause excessive vomiting (such as eating disorders), and dry mouth are all causes of a high level of acid in the mouth. Affected teeth will exhibit signs of dental erosion. Among these are sensitivity and discoloration of the teeth. In other cases, the teeth will appear shorter, and the tips might exhibit a transparency. In more extreme cases, cracking, decay, and exposure of the inner tooth may occur. To help prevent enamel erosion, stick to drinking plain water as much as possible, and rinse with water after drinking acidic beverages. Do your best to avoid other issues that can lead to enamel erosion, and talk to us about your problems that can have a negative effect on your dental health. Give us a call at (949) 643-1111 to set up an appointment today! We can help you monitor and prevent dental erosion. www.DrWheatfill.com