How do you know when you’re experiencing tooth enamel erosion? And how do you protect your teeth and prevent tooth enamel loss? Enamel is one of the strongest substances in the human body, but it’s not indestructible.
Tooth enamel erosion can result in stained teeth as well as tooth sensitivity. It’s also important to remember that enamel cannot regrow. Once it is damaged beyond repair, it may be too late to be restored and the tooth may need to be crowned. Here’s a helpful guide to detecting and preventing tooth enamel damage from the team at Empire Dental Care.
Signs of Tooth Enamel Erosion
The signs and symptoms may vary depending on the stage and severity of the enamel erosion. In general, patients and parents should keep an eye out for the following signs:
If patients experience increased sensitivity to temperature or taste, it may be an early sign of enamel erosion. More severe cases of enamel damage may result in extreme sensitivity or even pain when chewing or biting.
Teeth Stains or Discoloration
If patients notice yellow, dark, or shiny discoloration on the surface of any teeth, this could indicate early tooth enamel decay.
If teeth are visibly cracked or chipped, this could be due to teeth enamel erosion. As the enamel is compromised, it becomes weak and is more susceptible to enamel damage.
Tooth Surface Changes or Dented Teeth Could Indicate Tooth Enamel Erosion
Dents or divots in the enamel, also known as “cupping,” would be visible on the surface of the teeth or felt with the tongue. If the tooth has become rough around the edges or the surface, this could also indicate enamel erosion.
What Causes Tooth Enamel Erosion?
There are several possible causes of enamel erosion, from too frequent contact with acids to poor oral hygiene, several of which are preventable.
Consuming Acidic Food and Drinks
Soft drinks can have high amounts of phosphoric acids. The saliva in your mouth is intended to neutralize the acids you consume. Excessive soft drink consumption can cause enamel damage.
Foods and drinks that are high in acidity are also contributing factors to enamel erosion. Limes, sour apples, lemons, and grapefruits are among those foods with high levels of citric acids.
Excess Starchy and Sugary Foods
If left on the teeth too frequently or for too long, high sugar or starchy foods can also contribute to tooth enamel erosion due to bacterial activity.
Even a strong material, such as enamel, will wear out with excessive teeth grinding. Most often, this occurs while sleeping and may require a mouth guard from your dentist to alleviate grinding.
The acid in your mouth doesn’t come only from foods we consume but also from acids the body produces. A patient who experiences chronic acid reflux may be at increased risk of their tooth enamel eroding.
Bulimia is an eating disorder where food that has already been consumed is forcibly vomited back up. This is a critically dangerous practice for one’s overall health, in addition to increasing the risk of acid exposure to the teeth and enamel damage.
How To Prevent Tooth Enamel Erosion
The extreme result of untreated enamel damage is complete tooth loss, so it’s critical to catch and treat enamel erosion as soon as possible.
Avoid Acidic and Starchy Foods
The most effective way to reduce enamel damage is to prevent exposure to harmful acids and starches. Avoid excessive amounts of highly acidic or starchy foods to protect your teeth from their effects.
Good Oral Hygiene
Give your teeth the best chance against enamel damage by maintaining a strong daily oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing twice daily is the recommended minimum for good oral care.
Regular Dental Exams
Keeping up with regular oral exams will reveal any potential damage as early as possible. While enamel cannot be restored, there are other treatment options that may be suitable, such as a crown or veneers. Consult your dentist for the best option for you.
Contact Empire Dental Care To Treat Tooth Enamel Erosion
As the premier office for gentle and compassionate dentistry, Empire Dental Care is here to help you prevent or treat tooth enamel erosion as safely and comfortably as possible. Call today for a consultation. 585-671-1650