Be in the Know About Enamel Erosion | Dentist in 92117

Do you believe that only sweet-tasting foods and beverages are bad for your teeth? Think again. 

Dietary components other than sugar can also harm your teeth. Acid-rich foods and drinks cause tooth erosion, which is the erosion of the enamel that shields your teeth. Your teeth will now look different, and microorganisms that can cause cavities or infections will now have access to your mouth.

What Does Tooth Erosion Do to My Teeth?

Tooth erosion is irreversible. If the enamel on your teeth has begun to erode, you may: 

  • Feel pain or sensitivity after consuming hot, cold, or sweet beverages.
  • Observe a yellow discoloration of the teeth.
  • Observe a change in your fillings.
  • Face a higher risk of cavitiesDevelop an abscess, in extreme cases.
  • Experience tooth loss, also in extreme cases.

If erosion occurs, you may require fillings, crowns, root canals, or even tooth removal. Alternatively, you may be able to restore the appearance of your teeth with veneers.

Acidic foods and beverages to avoid.

As a general rule, it is best to limit how much citrus, citrus-flavored, carbonated or sour foods or beverages you consume. 

Acidic foods, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits, can have some acidic effects on tooth enamel, which is why you should eat them as part of a meal rather than alone. As a result of their sticky nature and ability to adhere to teeth, dried fruits, such as raisins, can also cause dental problems, as the acids produced by cavity-causing bacteria continue to harm teeth long after they have been consumed.

However, soft drinks, particularly soda and sports drinks, are the major erosive agents. Even if they are sugar-free, they may still be acidic due to the carbonation. Any drink with that bubbly fizz will have a higher acid content. Citrus flavors, such as lemon, lime, and orange, can also contribute to the acidity in beverages. Even all-natural beverages like orange juice and lemonade are higher in acid than regular water, so use them occasionally rather than daily. 

Speaking of sweet treats, some sour candies are almost as acidic as battery acid, and many use citric acid to achieve the desired effect. Please pucker in moderation if you like a little sour with your sweet tooth.

How to Protect Your Teeth

You can reduce tooth erosion by following these tips when eating and drinking:

  • After eating acidic foods, wait an hour before brushing to allow your saliva to naturally wash away acids and re-harden your enamel.
  • You should limit or avoid acidic beverages like soda. If you must indulge, use a straw. 
  • Don’t swish or hold your drink in your mouth for longer than is necessary when drinking something like a soft drink. Sip and swallow. 
  • Rinse your mouth with water after acidic meals or beverages, then drink milk or eat cheese as soon as possible. Dairy and other calcium-rich foods can help neutralize acids. 
  • Saliva also helps control acid. Keep your saliva flowing and protect your teeth by chewing sugarless gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. 
  • Use dental health products that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The ADA Seal means the product is safe and effective, and some have been awarded this seal specifically because they help prevent and reduce enamel erosion from dietary acids.
  • Consult your dentist. Dental professionals can explain the effects of nutritional choices.
  • on your teeth, including which foods and beverages to choose and which to avoid. By learning as much as you can about the effects of what you eat and drink on your teeth, you can keep your smile bright for a lifetime.

We care about your oral health and want to make sure you are taking all possible precautions to maintain the integrity of your smile. Contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment.

Paul Taylor, DMD- Advanced Dentistry
Phone: (858) 496-7521
4320 Genesee Ave., Suite 101
San Diego , CA 92117