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What is Dental Erosion and What Causes It?

Dental erosion is sometimes called acid erosion and is quite a common problem. Once you know what it is exactly and what can cause it, it is possible to avoid or at least minimize the effects of dental erosion in Oshawa.

Healthy teeth are covered by tooth enamel, and although this substance is extremely hard, it can still become eroded. Your tooth enamel can gradually dissolve when it is exposed to acid. You find acid in all sorts of different things, including fruit juices, fizzy pop, and sports and energy drinks.

How Can These Beverages Cause Dental Erosion?
All these drinks tend to have a lower pH, meaning they are more acidic, and it’s trickier for saliva to neutralize these types of drinks because they have a greater buffering capacity. The longer your teeth are exposed to these beverages, the greater the risk of dental or acid erosion. Another factor that can influence the rate of dental erosion is the concentration of the beverage. If you tend to reduce the concentration of your drinks with water, it’ll help to reduce acid erosion. When you any consume these types of drinks occasionally, the risk of acid erosion is probably fairly low. Unfortunately, these types of beverages are often popular amongst children and teenagers, and primary or milk teeth can be even more susceptible to dental erosion. This is because children’s teeth haven’t benefited from long-term exposure to fluoride, which helps to harden tooth enamel, increasing its resistance to dental erosion.

This type of enamel erosion is different from the acid erosion caused by bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria are present in dental plaque that is a sticky biofilm, which gradually coats your tooth surfaces as the day goes by. If you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly, most of these bacteria are removed before they can create too much acid to damage your teeth significantly.

Preventing Dental Erosion
Initially, preventing dental erosion in Whitby might seem quite straightforward, and very often, people will brush their teeth straight after eating or drinking something very acidic. This isn’t a great idea because after eating your tooth enamel is softer. The acid removes some of the minerals in tooth enamel in a process called demineralization. If you brush your teeth while your enamel is still soft, it increases the risk of damage to these teeth. Waiting a while is preferable because, after half an hour to an hour, your teeth begin to remineralize. This is a process where some of the minerals removed from your tooth enamel are redeposited as they are still present in your saliva. Remineralization occurs as acidity levels in your mouth begin to normalize.

Of course, the best thing you can do to prevent dental erosion is to stop drinking acidic beverages and instead, switch to plain water or even milk. When you do want to have a fruit juice or something else that is a bit acidic, try to drink it more quickly rather than sipping on it, or drink it through a straw as this reduces contact with your teeth. To be more environmentally friendly, purchase reusable straws.

Margolian Dentistry can also help, as when you visit our dentist in Ajax, we can prescribe various treatments to remedy the effects of dental erosion. For example, fluoride applications to harden tooth enamel, or if the damage is more substantial, we can bond teeth using the very latest composite resins. These are tooth-coloured and will blend in beautifully with your natural teeth, and this is the same material used to mend small cavities.

Jun 21, 2019 | Posted by

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