Tooth Erosion

Tooth erosion is a very common and frequent problem. It is mainly caused by continuous acidic attacks on the tooth structure. These acidic attacks are usually undertaken by fluids that have higher contents of acid than optimal. When these acidic fluids are introduced into the mouth, they affect the loss of vital tooth substance. Any fluid that has the pH of less than seven is acidic in nature and can cause acidic attack on the tooth structure. More acidic the fluid is, more aggressive and harmful will be the attack. It results in the reshaping of the teeth by wearing off the vital substance away. Vital tooth substance dissolves away and leaves the interior of the teeth exposed and vulnerable. Acidic effect of these fluids literally dissolves away the mineral components of the teeth. As a result of it, teeth become sensitive due to the loss of vital substances and become vulnerable to wear and tear.

Causes of Tooth Erosion

It might be shocking for us that commonly used soda drinks have excellent corrosive powers and they can damage our teeth just like acids commonly used in batteries. The presence of citric or phosphorous acid in soda drinks, fruit juices, energy drinks and even in teas is to be blamed for the erosion. What it does is that it causes the loss of the hardest substance in human body called enamel and so can leave your mouth with cracked, sensitive and discolored teeth. High sugar levels in the above mentioned drinks play their augmenting roles in the destructive work. Bacterial plaque present on our teeth release acids after absorbing the sugar, which then erode the external surface of the teeth called tooth enamel.

What actually gives pace to this process is our habit of regularly consuming fizzy drinks. Mild fluoride that is vital in strengthening tooth enamel is lacking in these drinks. I am not saying that never use these drinks at all, but the point is that we should use them optimally like with our meals only but not throughout the day. Excessive use of drinks throughout the day keeps destructive agents always present in the mouth. What adds fuel to the fire is that, most of the people regularly brush their teeth shortly after having these drinks Excessive and hard brushing can also accelerate tooth substance loss. Use of hard brush at that time actually scrub tooth enamel which is already sponged by the acidic attacks of the soda drinks. This action is likely to remove a thin layer which may be visible by microscope that can ultimately cover the tooth surface by utilizing minerals present in the saliva. In this way we block the natural repairing mechanism.

Regarding timing of taking these drinks, it is vital to know that intake of these drinks immediately before going to sleep can prolong the contact period of acids with teeth. Another thing that could add to the erosion of vital substance called enamel is the use of medication like Aspirin. Similarly eating disorders and gastric conditions that are associated with constant vomiting bring gastric acid into the mouth which eats away at the enamel. Acidic reflux is one of the most common gastric conditions.

Preventing Tooth Erosion

The best course is to prevent tooth erosion rather than to cure tooth erosion. It is natural that we all want to have bright, charming and smiling face. But unfortunately people with tooth erosion can’t afford that charming smile without using some whitening procedure because tooth erosion often results in the discoloration of teeth along with other dental complications. So the secret is to prevent and not to treat.

First step that we could take in avoiding erosion of the dental surface is that we know exactly which foods and fluids contain high levels of acids responsible for tooth erosion. But once these acids come in contact with teeth, one must rinse one’s mouth with water thoroughly. Rinsing of mouth with water will neutralize the acidic effect. But we must be very careful that we should not brush our teeth right away. One the other hand after about an hour, we must brush our teeth to ensure the elimination of any acidic residues. It will help preserve the enamel on our teeth which is ultimately helpful in avoiding whitening procedures and ensuring dental health.

It is also equally important to use tooth brush which has soft bristles. Another thing to care about is that our toothpaste should contain low levels of fluoride and mouthwash. Fluoride and antibacterial mouthwashes should not be used for a long period of time because they contribute to the staining of teeth. But if they are moderately used they can combat tooth erosion very successfully. If you feel that tooth whitening procedures can complement you to fight against tooth erosion, it is always good to choose some effective home whitening kit.

Last but not the least, people with gastric problems should earnestly consult a physician to sort that problem out. Because it is not only about you gastric health, but it also has an effect on your dental health


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