Think that only sweet-tasting drinks and snacks are harmful for your teeth? Think again.
High acidity foods and drinks can have serious consequences for our enamel and are the cause of dental erosion
What Does Tooth Erosion Do to My Teeth?
Every time we eat or drink anything acidic, the enamel on our teeth becomes softer for a short while and it loses some of its mineral content.
Our saliva will slowly cancel out this acidity and get our mouth back to its natural balance. However, if this acid attack happens too often, our mouth does not get the chance to recover. This could result in slowly losing our enamel.
Enamel is the hard, protective coating of our tooth, which protects the sensitive dentine underneath. When the enamel is worn away, the dentine underneath is exposed, which may lead to tooth sensitivity and pain.
What type of tooth damage caused by dental erosion?
- Increased sensitivity and tooth pain when consuming hot, cold or sweet drinks
- The teeth become thin and easily chipped
- Change to teeth colour
- Loss of fillings
- Develop an abscess, in very extreme cases
- Experience tooth loss
- Collapse of the face and loss of support to the cheeks
Acidic Foods and Beverages to Watch For?
The most common types of acid in our food and drink are carbonic acids, citric acids and phosphoric acids. These are the acids that weaken our enamel and dentine, leading to dental erosion.
The main culprits when it comes to acidic foods and drinks are Fizz and Fruit.
Fizzy drinks, sodas, pops and carbonated drinks are acidic drinks. Drinking DIET fizzy may not contain sugar but they are still acidic and harmful to the teeth.
Some alcohol drinks including beer, cider, prosecco, white wine and alcopops are all example of alcoholic drinks that are highly erosive for our teeth.
Fruit forms an integral part of a healthy balanced diet. However, many fruits contain citric acid which can encourage dental erosion. The worst offenders are citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limesand blueberries. Other common food causing teeth erosion are pickles and tomato products (pasta sauce, ketchup, salsa, hot sauce)
How to Lessen Dental Erosion
Restrict the consumption of acidic food or drinks to meal time and try eating neutralising food along them…such food or drinks that have a higher pH level and are therefore low in acidity.
Some of these foods include nuts, cheese, oatmeal, mangos, melons, bananas, apples, eggs, vegetables, brown rice and whole grains. Fish and lean meats also have low levels of acid. These foods may actually help protect your tooth enamel, giving you a nice double benefit. They do this by neutralizing acids in otherwise acidic saliva, and by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to put minerals back in the teeth.
Another tip is to swallow our drink quickly, without holding it in our mouth or ‘swishing’ it around and use a straw. The concept is to reduce the time our teeth are being exposed to acid. Drink lots of plain water that is the best drink for our teeth. Milk is also good because it helps to neutralise acids in our mouth.
You can reduce tooth erosion by following these tips:
Wait an hour before you brush after eating acidic foods to give your saliva a chance to naturally wash away acids and re-harden your enamel.
Saliva helps keep acids under control. To keep your saliva flowing and protecting your teeth, chew sugar-free gum.
Look for dental health products to help prevent and reduce enamel erosion from dietary acids.Toothpaste and gels that are specially made to help remineralise softened enamel after an acid attack are recommended. Those toothpaste also contains fluoride, which is really important for protecting our teeth against tooth decay.
Do not forget to attend your routine dental check-ups and professional teeth cleaning with our hygienist twice a year for dental cleanings, which play an important role in maintaining your oral health by helping to identify dental erosion in its early stages.
If there is a need, we will assist you on making the needed healthy dietary choices to stop dental erosion. We can also record photos and digital scans of your teeth to help monitor the progress of this condition and ensure it is not causing harm over time to your teeth smile and general dental condition.
How to treat tooth erosion?
Prevention is better than cure. Once dental erosion progressed it can be difficult to treat. You may need fillings, crowns, a root canal or even tooth removal.
Dental bonding using composite resin veneers is another option that can be used to protect the remaining tooth tissues and improves your smile and function. Our specialist dentist applies this conservative technique to protect the teeth. It doesn’t involve drilling or numbing the teeth. This tooth bonding technique provide immediate repair to the teeth at relatively low-cost dental bonding London.
In other cases, cosmetic porcelain veneers may also be an option to restore the look of your smile and function.
If you have any concern about tooth wear, contact us. Our specialist dentist will be happy to answer your questions.