What is Tooth Erosion?

Dentists have successfully delivered the message that sugar causes damage to your teeth. This has led many people to choose sugar-free foods and drinks. However, tooth decay caused by sugar is not the only threat to dental enamel. If you notice teeth dissolving and do not know what to do, consider seeing your dentist for a consultation as soon as possible. You may have a condition known as tooth erosion.

Our team of oral health care professionals is committed to providing a relaxing dental care experience. To learn how we can help you maintain a healthy and bright smile, schedule an appointment at Trident Dental.

What is Tooth Erosion?

Dental or tooth erosion is a chemical process that wears away tooth enamel and dentin. Acids from foods and drinks remove minerals from hard tooth structures making them softer and more susceptible to dental caries. 

6 Causes of Tooth Erosion

The following are six possible causes of tooth erosion:

  1. Diet. Excessive consumption of highly acidic foods and beverages is one of the leading causes of tooth surface damage and loss. The most harmful products include soft drinks, sports drinks, and fruit drinks. High-sugar diets can also contribute to erosion.

  2. Regurgitation. Gastrointestinal problems such as GERD, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia expose teeth to extreme amounts of acid that harm teeth.

  3. Environmental. People who swim frequently are at risk for erosion due to exposure to chlorinated water, which has an acidic pH. Workers in plants that manufacture batteries, fertilizers, or ammunition and coal miners are also exposed to acidic airborne particles that can erode enamel.

  4. Alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol has been implicated in tooth erosion, possibly due to frequent regurgitation.

  5. Medications. Certain medications, such as aspirin, tranquilizers, and antihistamines, can promote erosion by having an acidic pH or causing dry mouth.

  6. Xerostomia. A healthy salivary flow helps protect your teeth from the harmful effects of acids. You lose this protection if you have salivary gland problems or take medications that cause dry mouth (xerostomia).

Symptoms of Tooth Erosion

The signs and symptoms of tooth erosion include:

  • Discoloration. Although enamel is white, the underlying hard structure called dentin has a darker yellow appearance. Once erosion removes sufficient enamel, it causes discoloration.

  • Sensitivity. Erosion diminishes tooth enamel, which protects from the extreme hot and cold temperatures of some foods and drinks.

  • Defects. As you lose enamel, your teeth weaken and begin to crack and chip.

  • Pain. With severe erosion and exposure of dentin, you can experience a toothache and possibly a dental infection.

Treatments for Tooth Erosion

If you suspect tooth erosion, you should see your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further problems and repair damaged teeth. Depending on the cause and severity of your condition, your dentist may recommend one or more of the following treatments:

  • Changing to a less acidic diet.

  • Using a softer bristle toothbrush.

  • Drinking some beverages through a straw.

  • Taking antacids.

  • Dental fillings or bonding.

  • Dental veneers.

  • Tooth crowns.

Schedule Appointment

Contact Trident Dental if you notice any changes in your teeth or gums. We provide expert diagnosis and treatments using leading-edge dental materials and techniques.

Schedule Appointment

Scroll to Top