Thursday, August 16, 2012
Learn the Early Signs of Tooth Erosion
Tooth enamel is the strongest substance within our bodies. Enamel is the hard, semi-translucent outer layer on our teeth. It does more than just make our teeth look nicer. It protects them against food temperature extremes and wear resulting from chewing and biting. Enamel also prevents chemicals and acids from eroding teeth. When enamel erodes, underlying dentin is exposed. Tooth erosion can result in issues ranging from mild to severe.
What Causes Teeth to Erode
Several things can cause loss of tooth enamel. Consuming a lot of sugary or acidic foods combined with poor dental hygiene are contributing factors. Bacteria love sugar and they increase acid levels that erode tooth enamel. A reduced amount of saliva or a dry mouth decreases acid neutralization and prevents leftover food from being washed away, leading to decay.
Medical conditions like alcoholism, bulimia, and other issues resulting in frequent vomiting expose teeth to acids from the stomach. Heartburn and acid reflux disease carry stomach acids to the mouth where they can erode tooth enamel. Vitamin C, aspirin, and other supplements and drugs with a high content of acid can cause erosion. Even vigorous tooth brushing can result in erosion of enamel.
Symptoms of Enamel Erosion
General tooth sensitivity or tooth pain when consuming something sweet, hot, or cold is a common symptom of tooth enamel erosion. Teeth may develop irregular or rough edges that can chip or crack or they may have a smooth, shiny surface resulting from mineral loss. Thinned enamel can make teeth appear yellow. Chewing and biting surfaces of teeth may develop dents. Teeth are more likely to decay and develop cavities once their enamel has eroded.
Preventing Tooth Enamel from Eroding
Proper dental care is the key to preventing erosion of tooth enamel. Start by replacing acidic beverages and foods with modified versions. If you must consume regular citrus drinks, carbonated drinks, or citrus fruits, do this while eating a meal to minimize effect on tooth enamel, drink with a straw to bypass teeth, finish the meal with cheese or milk to neutralize acids and rinse the mouth with water.
Strengthen teeth by using fluoride toothpaste and wait an hour after consuming acidic beverages or foods before brushing with a soft toothbrush, to limit erosion. Tooth erosion can be treated through processes like tooth bonding or crowns. A dentist will recommend the best approach based on the type and severity of enamel loss.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7213743