Tooth Erosion: Causes, Effects, and Prevention

Tooth Erosion: Causes, Effects, and Prevention
Posted on October 27, 2023

Our teeth play a crucial role in our daily lives, allowing us to bite, chew, and speak. However, many Stoney Creek individuals are unaware of the threat that tooth erosion poses to their dental health. Tooth erosion is the gradual wearing away of tooth enamel, the protective outer layer of our teeth. Let’s explore the causes, effects, and prevention of tooth erosion.

Causes of Tooth Erosion

Understanding some of the common causes of tooth erosion will help you take preventative measures. 

Here are some of the key causes of tooth erosion:

Acidic Foods and Beverages: One of the primary causes of tooth erosion is the consumption of acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, soda, and certain types of alcohol. These acids can soften and erode tooth enamel over time. Read about how food and beverage choices can lead to bad dental habits over time.

Acid Reflux: People who suffer from acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) often experience stomach acids flowing into their mouth, leading to an increased risk of tooth erosion.

Dry Mouth: Saliva plays a vital role in neutralizing acids and protecting teeth. Those with chronic dry mouth or xerostomia are more susceptible to erosion.

Abrasive Brushing: Brushing your teeth with excessive force or using a toothbrush with hard bristles can wear down enamel and contribute to erosion.

Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions, such as eating disorders and certain autoimmune diseases, can increase the risk of tooth erosion.


tooth erosion and discoloration

Effects of Tooth Erosion

Eroded teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, leading to discomfort and pain. As enamel erodes, the underlying dentin, which is yellow in colour, becomes more visible, resulting in tooth discoloration. You can learn more about teeth stains, discoloration, and prevention here.

Additionally, when enamel is weakened, it is more susceptible to decay and cavities. This weakened state can also lead to cracks and chips, and teeth will become more prone to these issues as the enamel erodes.

Prevention of Tooth Erosion

Dietary Changes: Limit the consumption of acidic foods and beverages. Drink water or milk after acidic drinks to help neutralize acids.

Proper Oral Hygiene: Wait 30 minutes after eating to brush your teeth.Brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Consider using fluoride toothpaste to strengthen enamel. 

Saliva Stimulation: Chewing sugar-free gum can stimulate saliva production, helping to protect your teeth.

Regular Dental Check-ups: Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings. They can detect erosion early and provide guidance on prevention.

Electric Toothbrush: Brushing too hard with a manual toothbrush can remove your enamel over time. Switching to an electric toothbrush can assist in applying the perfect amount of pressure as many electric toothbrushes come with a safety feature of stopping if you are applying too much pressure.

Treatment for Underlying Conditions: If you have acid reflux or other medical conditions contributing to erosion, seek treatment to manage the issue.

Contact Stoney Creek Dental today

Tooth erosion is a significant concern for dental health. Understanding its causes, effects, and prevention methods is essential for maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. By making mindful choices in your diet and dental care routine, you can protect your teeth from the damaging effects of erosion and enjoy a lifetime of strong, healthy teeth. Contact Stoney Creek Dental today to discuss your dental concerns.

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