Every day, our teeth are exposed to a range of substances. From liquids to food solids, toothbrushes and temperature levels, our teeth have to endure a lot of variables. These can cause all sorts of problems within your mouth, one of which is called acid wear. Also known as dental erosion, acid wear is the irreversible loss of tooth structure caused by acidic build up and exposure to your teeth.
There are multiple ways in which your teeth can be exposed to acid. These can be intrinsic, which means that the acid is coming from within your body, or extrinsic, meaning that it is outside variables being introduced.
Intrinsic acid exposure can be seen through:
- Low saliva levels/ dry mouth
- Gastric reflux
In comparison, extrinsic acid exposure can be caused by:
- Many drinks with high acid intake, including wine, fruit juice, soft drinks and drinks high in sugar or caffeine.
- Foods that are high in acid, such as limes, lemons, and oranges. Other foods that can cause acidic wear are foods high in sugar content including lollies and sweets.
- Certain medications such as iron supplements
There are certain signs that tell you whether you are falling victim to acidic wear on your teeth. It is important to acknowledge the signs when you see them in the early stages of acid wear, as you can work to combat the erosion and fend off further damage. Some signs of teeth erosion include:
- Increased sensitivity in your teeth. This could be caused by the protective enamel on your teeth wearing away, and you feel pain when exposed to varying temperatures or foods/drinks.
- If you see distinct discolouration in your teeth it may mean that there is dental erosion. There also may be a small transparency with your teeth.
- If there appears to be smaller looking cracks in the edges of your teeth
So how do you control dental erosion? Basic ways to try and combat this could be by changing some certain lifestyle choices. Easy things to change would be to swap out soft drinks for water, drinking liquids through a straw, brushing teeth twice daily, restricting acidic foods, and visiting your dentist regularly. If you are located in Melbourne, our team at Dental On Clarendon can help you out. You can call us on 03 9998 6198, and book your dental appointment today. We will be able to help you combat your dental erosion, as well as give you other tips and tricks towards your dental care.