Do you drink a lot of soft drinks, energy drinks or fruit juices? Or maybe you just have a penchant for citrus fruits? Then you may be experiencing acid wear or erosion. Even if the drinks you have do not contain any sugar, they can lead to the erosion due to their acidic nature. Wear on the surface of your teeth can also be from acids in the stomach.
Acid wear or erosion can cause considerable damage to your teeth. For instance, those individuals with morning sickness or reflux may experience this problem. Your stomach acids enter your mouth and – as they have to be strong enough to digest food – are known to cause dental erosion.
But it isn’t just soft drinks or fruit juices that cause wear. Anything from sports drinks to vitamin waters or wine. Acids are often mixed in to processed drinks and citric acid or sodium citrate – two of the most common – are also some of the worst for teeth.
So how do you know if you have dental erosion and what could it lead to?
Often dental erosion causes a shiny appearance on the surface of the tooth and can make any exposed tooth root, or dentine, sensitive to sweet foods or drinks, and hot or cold drinks. Your dentist will suggest fillings if the erosion is more extensive but with advanced erosion, fillings become more visible and exposed as the surrounding tooth is still experiencing the effects of the acidic food and drink.
If you do not consult your dentist, and continue to eat and drink very acidic products, you may be undergoing progressive loss of the tooth surface. Leaving dental erosion untreated can involve further treatments like fillings, crowns and veneers.
Sometimes treating acid wear is as easy as changing your diet, not drinking soft drink or juice or even just reducing the amounts of times you drink it. Maintaining good oral hygiene is also necessary and beneficial. This includes, brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled brush and fluoridated toothpaste. If you decide to continue drinking or eating acidic foods, or if you cannot help morning sickness or reflux, try rinsing out your mouth afterwards with water or a fluoride mouth rinse.
Don’t wait and treat your acid wear today. Make sure to consult your dentist as they will be able to determine the cause and treatment of your acid wear and help with further prevention of dental erosion.