Our teeth go through a lot of wear and tear over the years. Even though enamel is the hardest tissue in the body, it can still get worn down over time. Many factors contribute to this wear and tear; but luckily, most of them are preventable with a little foresight. As a matter of good hygiene and dental health, Boston cosmetic dentist Robert Rapisarda urges patients to understand the causes and dangers of tooth erosion.
The Cause of Tooth Erosion
The primary factors behind erosion can be found in the foods we eat. The single largest contributor to enamel loss is acid – acidic foods are found everywhere, and many of them come in contact with our teeth on a daily basis.
Fruit is a great source of vitamins and nutrients, which can make some doctors happy, but it’s not always the best for our teeth. In fact, an apple has a low pH level, making it a likely candidate for acidic erosion. The same is true for other fruits, such as grapefruit or strawberries. This is not to say you should not abstain from these otherwise healthy foods. However, these facts should underscore the need to take care of your teeth and counteract erosion before it leads to tooth decay. After consuming highly acidic foods, rinse the mouth with water to reduce the level of acidity.
Additional causes of tooth erosion include acid reflux, teeth grinding, brushing too hard, vomiting, dry mouth, and even supplements like vitamin C pills. If your teeth are beginning to get eroded, there are a few telling signs you can recognize.
Signs of Tooth Erosion
The first sign of erosion that someone is likely to notice is increased tooth sensitivity, especially when eating food that is particularly hot, cold, or sweet. This sensitivity will rarely go away on its own, and will likely worsen as the erosion continues. When a tooth is sensitive, that means the softer dentin underneath are exposed – a bad sign if you want your teeth strong and healthy.
A tooth suffering from erosion may also feel rough or rigid, as a result of the enamel being damaged. Cracks and chips are also more likely, adding to a rigid surface. As the tooth’s white exterior becomes worn away, it may also appear more yellow.
Of course, the best way to spot erosion is by visiting a dentist. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Rapisarda to check on the health of your teeth and learn how you can counteract erosion.
The optimal dental treatment is to avert tooth enamel erosion before it even starts. Preventative measures include:
- Cutting down on acidic food and drinks
- Brushing diligently, but not aggressively
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Using a fluoride toothpaste or mouth wash
- Using a straw for acidic drinks
- Limit any causes of acid reflux or vomiting
Still, there is only so much you can do within the confines of your lifestyle. To better protect your teeth from erosion and even counter its effects, Dr. Rapisarda offers ways to strengthen and restore your teeth.
Tooth bonding is a way of resurfacing a patient’s teeth with plastic or resin, offsetting the effects of enamel loss. This is a valuable option for teeth that have been chipped or yellowed over time.
Dental crowns are an effective solution to major tooth erosion. By placing a porcelain cap over an eroded tooth, crowns can return health and beauty to a patient’s smile while protecting against further damage.
No matter how protective you are of your teeth, regular dental visits will help ensure they are not permanently damaged by eroded enamel. Dr. Rapisarda utilizes the latest technology while keeping patients’ comfort at the forefront of his practice. Schedule an appointment today to see how we can help your smile last indefinitely.