Tooth Erosion: Causes & Treatment
Enamel is the substance that coats teeth and provides a protective layer. However, as the enamel wears off through the years or is damaged, it will expose the next layer, the dentine. This will eventually result in sensitivity and pain.
Daily living causes our mouths to come into contact with foods and drinks that are acidic. Natural mouth saliva will wash off much of that acid but too much or too often and the enamel will start to develop small pockmarks or holes. This will eventually damage the enamel to the point of loss.
There are some things to consider to reduce or eliminate this condition:
- Limit soft drinks
- Swallow promptly without holding the liquid in your mouth
- Use a straw
- Finish the meal with milk or other dairy product to counteract the acid
- Brush frequently.
Children aged 3 or younger should brush with a fluoride level toothpaste of 1000 parts per million (ppm). Anyone over the age of 3 should use toothpaste with levels of 1350 to 1500 ppm. After brushing, spit the excess but do not rinse. This will allow the fluoride to treat teeth for a longer period of time.
You do not need to think that dental erosion will happen to everyone. With good oral hygiene habits and regular check ups you can protect the enamel on your teeth which will, in turn, protect the dentine and gums.