Tootherosion is the wearing away of tooth enamel by acid. The enamel is the hard calcified tissue that covers and protects the outside of the tooth. It is the hardest substance in our bodies. The saliva in our mouth contains calcium which helps to strengthen and remineralize the teeth; however, remineralization can not occur when a great deal of acid is present. The high amount of acids in the food and drink that you consume can cause tootherosion. Soft drinks and pure fruit juices contain a high amount of acid. Tootherosion can also be caused by medical factors such as a decrease in saliva, acid reflux disease, certain gastrointestinal conditions and the eating disorder bulimia.
Early Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Erosion
Discoloration - Since the dentin of the tooth is exposed during tootherosion, discoloration or yellowing of the teeth can occur. The more dentin that is exposed, the more yellow the teeth will become.
Tooth Sensitivity - Sensitive teeth are very common symptoms of tootherosion because the enamel that protects the teeth wears away, leaving exposed dentin.
Rounded Teeth - During the early stages of tootherosion, it is common for teeth to have a rounded look.
Transparent or Sand Blasted Appearance - It is not uncommon in the early stages of tootherosion for the teeth to have a sand blasted look or for the tips of the front teeth to look transparent.
Advanced and Severe Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Erosion
Cracking - If tootherosion continues into the advanced stage, the edges of the teeth can start to crack and have a rough feeling.
Dents - Little dents, also called cupping, can start to appear on the biting areas of the teeth.
Extreme Sensitivity - Since the enamel wears away during tootherosion, the teeth can become extremely sensitive during the advanced stages of tootherosion.
How to Prevent Tooth Erosion
Tootherosion can cause mild dental problems, from tooth discoloration to sensitivity to more severe dental problems, such as indentions in the teeth, severe tooth sensitivity, and even cracked teeth. Tootherosion can do severe damage to your teeth, but it can also be prevented.
Following are a few tips for prevention tooth erosion -
After eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages, rinse your mouth with water so that the acid will be neutralized.
Wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth after consuming acidic foods or beverages to allow the teeth to remineralize after the acid exposure.
Cut back on carbonated drinks and try replacing them with water, milk or un-sweetened coffee and tea.
Use a straw when drinking carbonated beverages or other sweet drinks, such as natural fruit juices, which are very acidic. A straw enables the liquid to go quickly to the back of your mouth instead of washing over the teeth.
Swallow acidic liquids quickly instead of swishing them around or holding them in your mouth.
Chewing sugar-free gum can help reduce dry mouth and increase the saliva flow, allowing for your teeth to remineralize.
Always use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride can help to reduce tooth sensitivity.
Since tootherosion can occur from several different factors, it’s important to talk with your dentist if you suspect that you might have tootherosion. Your dentist can also keep you informed of dental products that are designed specifically to help sensitivity caused by tootherosion.
You can get your dental treatment in India at a reasonable price. These days with heavy inflow of international patients, several dental clinics across the country are offering special discounts on various dental procedures.