May 15 2013

The Dangers of Tooth Erosion

Manhattan Tooth Erosion Treatment

Manhattan Tooth Erosion TreatmentTooth erosion is a serious condition that can lead to tooth pain, sensitivity, discoloration, and decay, and in serious cases, tooth loss. At Fine Dental in Manhattan, tooth erosion can be prevented and treated.

Tooth erosion occurs when the structure of the tooth is compromised and is lost because of chemical dissolution by certain acids. Tooth erosion differs from traditional cavities and decay because erosion is specifically caused by a tooth’s exposure to high levels of acidity that are not produced by bacteria.

What Causes Tooth Erosion?

Tooth erosion is most commonly caused by a patient’s consumption of acidic foods and drinks (or those with a pH lower than 5.0). These foods may include, but are not limited to:

  • Orange juice and other juices with citric acid
  • Soft drinks
  • Other carbonated drinks with citric and phosphoric acid
  • Fruit drinks, both artificial and natural
  • Wine
  • Sports drinks

Tooth erosion may also be caused by other agents, both external and internal:

  • Aspirin
  • Iron supplements
  • Vitamin C supplements
  • Chlorine in swimming pool water
  • Gastric acid regurgitated from the stomach due to a medical condition or nausea

The teeth are naturally protected from most acidic foods, drinks, and other materials because of saliva, which naturally regulates the mouth’s pH when acids are present. However, the excess of any of these agents can de-neutralize the mouth and cause tooth erosion after a period of time.

What Are the Dangers of Tooth Erosion?

Tooth erosion begins on the surface enamel of the tooth before penetrating to and eroding the underlying dentin. Initial side effects may include tooth sensitivity, weakness, discoloration, or a change in tooth shape.

Once the tooth erosion has reached the internal dentin of the tooth, it breaks down the tooth structure, which cannot be naturally repaired. Patients will likely lose part or all of a tooth. Gaps or holes caused by tooth erosion will continue to grow until the whole tooth is compromised, if left untreated.

Preventing and Treating Tooth Erosion

At our Manhattan cosmetic dentistry practice, Fine Dental, we have experience preventing and treating the often debilitating results of tooth erosion. To prevent tooth erosion from beginning, patients should:

  • Avoid the excess consumption of acidic foods and drinks listed above, and brush and floss immediately following consumption of highly acidic food and drinks. Patients may also benefit from using a straw to drink acidic beverages
  • Decrease the use of abrasive force on teeth by using softer tooth brush bristles and brushing less aggressively
  • Drinking milk, which combats and neutralizes acid pH
  • Receive fluoride treatments
  • Use of toothpaste made for patients with sensitive teeth

If damage has already occurred from tooth erosion, patients have several options for treatment. For our patients in Manhattan, dental crowns, dental bridges, inlays and onlays, tooth-colored fillings, dentures, and dental implants are some of the restorative options we offer. To avoid tooth damage and loss, patients should maintain regular visits to the dentist.

For more information on tooth erosion damage, treatment, and prevention, or to discuss any of the other comprehensive dental procedures we offer at Fine Dental, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

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