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About the Causes of Tooth Erosion and How It Can Be Treated

By Dr. Silvers on June 03, 2014


About the Causes of Tooth Erosion and How It Can Be TreatedThere are numerous dental problems that a person can face. Some are aesthetic in nature, while others affect overall dental health and wellness. To address the latter, we offer general and restorative services at Silvers Family Dental Care in Harrisburg. Restorative dentistry is intended to enhance a perosn's overall dental health and wellness, allowing them to smile with confidence again and to bite and chew as they ought to.

One dental health issue that is relatively common yet misunderstood is tooth erosion. Let's take a moment right now to consider tooth erosion, how it can be treated, and how you can prevent it from happening.

About Tooth Erosion

Also known as dental erosion and acid erosion, tooth erosion refers to the damage done to the tooth structure as a result of an acidic pH in a person's mouth. This acid damage causes teeth to weaken, become discolored, and can contribute to chipping, cracking, breaking, and general wasting away of the tooth structure over time.

How Tooth Erosion Differs from Tooth Decay

Many people think that tooth erosion and tooth decay are synonymous, but that is not the case. Rather than acidity in the mouth, tooth decay is caused by oral bacteria in the mouth. Both erosion and decay can happen concurrently.

Common Causes of Tooth Erosion

The most common causes of tooth erosion include the following:

  • Orange juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Coffee
  • Beer
  • Soft drinks
  • Vinegar
  • Gastric fluid

With regard to gastric fluid (the acidic liquid produced when a person vomits), tooth erosion is often a common problem for people who suffer from bulimia. Keep this in mind as a strong warning sign not just of a dental health issue, but a potential condition that affects overall wellness.

Treatment Options for Tooth Erosion

When it comes to treating tooth erosion, there are several things to consider. If there is enough remaining tooth structure in place, the tooth or teeth can be restored using fillings, inlays, onlays, or dental crowns.

If the tooth erosion is advanced and has destroyed too much of the patient's tooth structure, the tooth will likely need to be extracted. In those cases, the use of a dental bridge or denture may be ideal. For some patients, dental implants may be placed. These artificial tooth roots are surgically embedded into the patient's jawbone and gum tissue, and are able to hold dental restorations such as bridges, dentures, or even individual crowns with remarkable strength.

During your consultation, we will be sure to customize your treatment to meet your needs.

Tips for Preventing Tooth Erosion

There are a few things that you can do to prevent acid erosion from happening:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day (ideally after every meal)
  • Floss your teeth at least once a night (ideally after every meal)
  • Drink water to stay well hydrated and reduce the acidity in the mouth
  • Be wary when ingesting any substances that are acidic in nature
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups

Learn More About Addressing Tooth Erosion

If you would like more information about tooth erosion and how it can be treated and prevented, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. Our team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve excellent dental health and wellness.

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