A beautiful smile is one of the most attractive features a person can have. But there are certain conditions that can affect the health of your teeth and ruin your beautiful smile. Tooth enamel erosion is one of such ailing condition that can become a serious dental issue if you don’t pay attention to it. In this blog post, we’ll discuss tooth enamel erosion in detail including its causes, symptoms, treatment, and ways of prevention.
What is Tooth Enamel Erosion?
Before we talk about tooth enamel erosion, let’s discuss what tooth enamel is and what it does. Enamel is the outermost thin, translucent but tough layer of your teeth. It’s the hardest tissue of the human body. It covers the portion of the teeth that’s visible outside your gums and protects them during daily oral activities such as biting, chewing, grinding and crunching. It protects your teeth from bacteria, physical damage and guards against decay. Enamel also helps to insulate the teeth from painful temperatures and chemicals.
Although enamel is the hardest tissue, it isn’t impenetrable and can chip or crack. Once damaged, it can’t be repaired or regrown as enamel doesn’t contain any living cells. The wear and tear of the tooth enamel are referred to as dental erosion or tooth enamel erosion.
The Causes of Tooth Enamel Erosion
The production of acid in the mouth by bacteria is one of the major causes of tooth erosion. The acids erode the enamel over time due to frequent exposure and make your teeth vulnerable to sensitivity, stains, decay and other dental problems. Besides acid erosion, there are several other causes of tooth enamel erosion. Here are some of the most common causes –
- Carbonated Soft Drinks: Excessive consumption of soft drinks is often connected to tooth erosion. They’re highly acidic and contain lots of sugar which are used by plaque to boost erosion.
- Citrus Fruits: Fruits such as lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and limes are packed with vitamins and make for an easy snack. But they contain a high level of citric acid which demineralises tooth enamel. Eating them in moderation and drinking plain water after consumption help to prevent erosion.
- Acid Reflux: Acid reflux from the stomach is also a common cause of tooth erosion. In such gastrointestinal conditions, stomach acids regurgitate into the throat and sometimes into the mouth causing the acid to come into contact with the teeth.
- Dry Mouth: Also known as Xerostomia, this syndrome reduces the production of the saliva inside the mouth increasing the acid level in the mouth and leading to tooth erosion.
- Pregnancy: Morning sickness is a common occurrence in expecting mothers where they experience lingering nausea and acid left behind in the mouth.
- Others: Other common reasons behind tooth erosion are the consumption of certain medications such as antihistamines and aspirin; genetics; unhealthy oral habits; environmental factors such as corrosion, stress, friction; bruxism; and plaque.
In our next blog post, we’ll continue discussing the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of enamel erosion.