Preventing Tooth Erosion
Tooth enamel, which is the protective outer layer of teeth, can wear away over time. This is referred to as tooth erosion, which can result in several dental issues such as root canal infections, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. However, tooth erosion can be prevented. For cases in which tooth erosion has also progressed, restorative dentistry treatments may help.
What Causes Tooth Erosion?
Tooth erosion occurs as the outer enamel of you tooth wears away. Consequently, your teeth are left vulnerable to a myriad of dental issues. Some of the most common causes of tooth erosion are:
- Lack of oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene results in remnants of food, bacteria and plaque being left on your teeth, which results in tooth erosion.
- Dry mouth. This is a condition in which not enough of saliva is produced to keep your mouth moist. Saliva is essential to wash away plaque, food and bacteria from the teeth, and to also neutralize acids within the mouth. Teeth are at greater risk of erosion if not enough of saliva is produced.
- Eating acidic, sugary food and drinks. Sugars and acids in food are extremely harmful and can cause tooth erosion.
- Acid Reflux. Acid reflux brings stomach acids into contact with teeth and can result in tooth erosion.
- Chronic Teeth Grinding. Friction created from rubbing teeth together can cause enamel erosion.
- Frequent Vomiting. Similar to acid reflux, vomiting allows stomach acid to make contact with teeth, eroding the enamel. Those individuals who suffer from eating disorders, as well as heavy drinkers, are more susceptible to enamel erosion.
- Aggressive tooth brushing. Using a hard bristled toothbrush or applying too much of pressure on your teeth is actually harmful and can result in enamel erosion.
Treating Tooth Erosion
Although prevention is best when it comes to tooth erosion, there are many treatment options available. These include:
- Inlays and onlays: For mild to moderate enamel erosion, inlays and onlays may be an effective solution.
- Tooth- colored fillings: Cavities resulting from enamel erosion can be repaired with tooth-colored fillings.
- Porcelain crowns. More severe tooth erosion can be treated with porcelain crowns.
- Dental implants. When tooth erosion results in tooth loss, dental implants is a permanent solution to replace missing teeth.
Dr. Evelina Tolchinsky, DDS and Dr. Trogan, DDS at Signature Smile General and Cosmetic Dentistry will be happy to discuss any concerns you may have about enamel erosion at your next visit. Our dentists have served the residents of Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Dumbo, and all of our other surrounding communities for years. Our offices are located in the heart of beautiful Brooklyn Heights at 100 Pineapple Walk, Brooklyn, NY 11201.