Although we are all now aware of the damage sugar can cause to our teeth, our healthy living style has now introduced a new type of damage to our tooth enamel; acid erosion and tooth wear.
This condition is rising in the under 35’s and can be linked to healthier lifestyles. It’s therefore important to identify the causes and minimise the risks to our teeth.
What are the signs of tooth wear?
- Increased sensitivity.The enamel is the outmost part of the teeth that protects the sensitive dentine underneath. When the enamel wears away, the dentine underneath is exposed which can lead to pain and sensitivity. Acid softens the enamel and wears down its mineral content.
- Thinning of the enamel with chipped or rounded edges.
- Yellowing of teeth due to the exposed dentine.
- Translucent tips.
What are the Causes?
- Fruit juices.
- Fruits especially citrus.
- Salad dressings.
- Fruit teas/lemon water.
- Carbonated drinks including sports drinks, fizzy water and diet drinks.
- Dry mouth can cause the acid to linger longer in the enamel and weaken it. Saliva is important as it washes away bacteria in the teeth.
- Chronic medical conditions such as acid reflux, heartburn and more serious medical problems like anorexia and bulimia can contribute to tooth erosion.
How Can we Minimise Risks?
- Limit the frequency of eating acidic foods to less than 4 a day.
- Use a straw for fizzy drinks.
- Consider cheese or milk at the end of a meal to neutralise acids.
- Chew sugar free gum to stimulate saliva and neutralise acids and drink plenty of water.
- Use fluoride toothpaste twice a day with 1450ppm of fluoride.
- Spit, don’t rinse after brushing so you don’t wash the fluoride away.
- Avoid brushing for an hour after meals to allow the teeth to recover from acid attack and prevent causing extra damage.
- Attend your dentist regularly who can identify early stages of teeth erosion.
Treatment of Tooth Wear
Consult your dentist for treatment options to restore enamel. The type of treatment will depend on the level of erosion and presence of cavities and can include crowns, composite fillings and veneers.
If you would like any further advice please feel free to call 01600 712020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org