You are what you eat. Making sure that you eat and drink the right foods and beverages, and the way you eat them, will be important to you and your teeth. If you consume too many acidic foods and beverages, the acid could be wearing away your enamel. A multicenter research study reported that dental erosion is on the increase in the United States, making prevention more important than ever.1
Enamel erosion occurs when the enamel of the teeth, the exterior layer of tissue that covers teeth, is worn away or reduced by a chemical acid process. There are two types of enamel erosion:
1. Intrinsic erosion — caused by gastric acid and acid regurgitation due to medical or psychological issues (e.g., acid reflux, anorexia, bulimia, etc. ).
2. Extrinsic erosion – occurs when dietary acids (e.g., sugar consumption, diet sodas, fruit drinks, carbonated drinks, etc.) contribute to the mouth being in a very acidic state.
When the enamel on the teeth wears down, it can cause several things to occur:
If you notice these types of changes in your mouth, please consult your dentist.
Once a dentist has examined your teeth, you may want to discuss what your next steps are to reduce dental erosion in your mouth:
Enamel erosion affects all age groups and appears to be related to tooth sensitivity.2 Acidic foods and drinks may need to be eliminated because of the tooth erosion they cause. Desensitizing toothpaste, like Colgate® Sensitive, can also be used for pain relief. Sealants or bonding agents may be considered to reduce the progression of dental erosion. In addition, applying fluoride can help increase resistance of the acid dissolution but it will not remineralize your teeth.
Remember, it is always important to consult your dentist to discuss treatment options for enamel erosion.