Preventing Tooth Erosion: Tips for Dental Wellness

Woodinville Tooth Erosion Treatment

Feb 10, 2015 — by Cristin Dowd, DDS
Tags: Tooth Erosion General Dentistry Restorative Dentistry

A woman smiling beside a sunflowerAt Signature Smiles here in Woodinville, we believe in providing every patient at our practice with the best comprehensive general dentistry services that we can provide. Our focus is on wellness and patient education, which means empowering patients with information so they can avoid serious dental issues when possible.

One such dental problem that's come up a fair amount around our practice is tooth erosion. We'd like to go over the basics of tooth erosion and how it can be managed and prevented right now.

About Tooth Erosion

Also known as dental erosion and acidic erosion, tooth erosion occurs when the acidic pH in the mouth weakens the enamel layer of the teeth. (The enamel is the outermost layer of tooth structure.) This can cause the enamel to wear away and expose more of the dentin layer beneath. Patients who suffer from tooth erosion will notice that their teeth become misshapen and worn down, and they begin to have a more yellow color.

Common Causes of an Acidic Oral pH

Some common causes of oral pH acidity include:

  • Soft drinks
  • Fruit juices
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Vinegar
  • Gastric fluid

Gastric fluid is the acidic substance present in the digestive tract that shows up in a person's vomit.

Reduce Consumption of Carbonated Beverages

One of the key ways of preventing tooth erosion is to avoid consuming too many carbonated beverages. Just cutting out most of the soda from your diet can go a long way toward protecting your teeth from harm.

Avoid Foods and Beverages That Are Acidic

In addition to avoiding soft drinks, it's a good idea to limit your intake of other kinds of substances that may lead to erosion. This includes beer, wine, and fruit juices. Having these things every now and then is okay, but be sure to use good judgment and always strive for moderation when possible.

Use a Straw to Drink Acidic Beverages

By using a straw, acidic liquids will bypass the teeth, doing less direct damage to the tooth structure. So while limiting your intake of fruit juices and soft drinks, be sure to use a straw whenever you happen to have these beverages just to play it safe.

Stay Well Hydrated to Help Maintain a Balanced Oral pH

If you do have a drink or bite of something that's acidic, a little bit of water can help reduce the acidity in the mouth. Staying hydrated with water and drinking a glass of water with your meals can clear away harmful substances in the mouth and help you have a more balanced oral pH in the process.

Brush Your Teeth an Hour After Meals with Acidic Items

Rather than brushing your teeth immediately after having an acidic item, it might pay to wait a bit. The tooth enamel may be especially weak immediately after having a soft drink, meaning you can wear down the enamel by brushing too soon. Waiting an hour can help you preserve the enamel structure while still keeping your teeth clean.

Get Help for Alcoholism and Bulimia

Tooth erosion is a common side effect or sign of alcoholism and bulimia. If you suffer from either of these conditions or have a loved one who does, be sure to seek professional intervention and help for these matters right away. General wellness is at stake, not just dental health.

Schedule a Consultation at Signature Smiles

To learn more about tooth erosion and other serious dental health issues that can be treated and prevented, we encourage you to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The entire team here at Signature Smiles looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve excellent dental health and wellness.

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