Dental Erosion: How It Can Affect Your Teeth
You are what you eat. Intake of the right food and drink, as well as the way you eat or drink, are important to your health and your teeth. Consumption of overly acidic foods can lead to wear of the enamel (the outermost layer of the teeth) and expose the dentin, which is just below the enamel. A multicenter study has shown that tooth erosion is increasing in the United States. (1)
What is tooth erosion?
As you know, the enamel is the outer layer of the teeth. Tooth erosion occurs when the enamel wears away or reduces by the action of acids. There are two types of tooth erosion:
1. Intrinsic erosion - It is caused by gastric acid or regurgitation due to medical or psychological problems (eg, acid reflux, anorexia, bulimia).
Extrinsic erosion - Occurs when food-related acids (eg sugar consumption, diet drinks, fruit juices, carbonated drinks) contribute to a very acidic mouth. Signs of erosion When the tooth enamel is worn, several problems may occur:
- Aggravation of erosion.
- Discoloration of the teeth, with exposure of the dentin is exposed. The dentin is yellowish in color.
- Density because the worn enamel exposes dentin, which is more porous than enamel, being more sensitive to touch, air, bite force and exposure to acid.
If you notice changes such as these in your mouth, consult your dentist.
What can be done to improve your teeth?
When you see your dentist, you can discuss the next steps required to reduce tooth erosion:
1.How long do you suffer from dental erosion?
2. Determine the frequency of acid ingestion and how they are consumed.
3. Consult a nutritionist for the purpose of evaluating your diet and reducing acid intake.
4. Find out if you suffer from gastric reflux, regurgitation or eating disorders.
5. Identify teeth that need to be replaced with aesthetic restorations and / or prostheses.
Dental erosion affects people in all age groups and appears to be related to dentin hypersensitivity. (2) Acidic foods and beverages should be discarded because they cause erosion of the teeth. To relieve the pain, you can use a desensitizing toothpaste with low abrasiveness. One can consider the application of sealants or adhesive agents to reduce the progression of erosion. The application of fluoride helps increase the resistance of teeth to acidic foods. Consult your dentist and discuss the options for treating dental erosion and what cosmetic solutions are available.
1. Information obtained on the U.S. Health and News Web site at //health.usnews.com/usnews/health/healthday/080312/dental-erosion-on-rise-in-us.htm. Smith, BGN, Robb ND. The prevalence of tooth wear in 1007 dental patients. J Oral Rehabil 1996, 23: 232-239.
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