What is Enamel Erosion and What Causes it?

Enamel erosion, also known as tooth erosion or dental erosion, is the process of wearing away the protective outer layer of your teeth, known as enamel. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including acid erosion, chemical erosion, and abrasion erosion. Enamel erosion can lead to tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and even tooth decay if left untreated. In this article, we will explore the different types of enamel erosion, how to diagnose and treat it, and practical tips for preventing it at home.

The Different Types of Enamel Erosion and Their Causes

Acid erosion is caused by consuming acidic foods and drinks. A few common examples are soda, coffee, carbonated water, wine, citrus fruits and salad dressings. Over time, the acid in these foods and drinks can wear away the enamel on your teeth, leaving them vulnerable to decay. Other common causes of acid erosion include acid reflux and vomiting. Chemical erosion is caused by exposure to chemicals such as chlorine, which is often found in swimming pools. Lastly, abrasion erosion is caused by excessive or traumatic brushing, using a hard-bristled toothbrush, or grinding your teeth.

How to Diagnose and Treat Enamel Erosion

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity or discoloration, your dentist may diagnose you with enamel erosion. Treatment options include repairing the enamel damage, restoring the enamel, and remineralizing your teeth. Repairing the enamel damage may involve applying dental bonding, crowns, or veneers to the affected teeth. Whereas, enamel restoration may involve applying filling material to the teeth to rebuild the enamel. Remineralizing your teeth involves using products containing calcium and phosphate to help strengthen and rebuild the enamel. You can talk to your dentist to find out which of these would be the best option for your erosion.

5 Practical Tips for Preventing Enamel Erosion at Home

There are several things you can do at home to help prevent enamel erosion. First, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle brushing technique to avoid excessive abrasion. Nowadays, many electric toothbrushes have pressure sensors that will notify you when you are brushing too hard. Second, use fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash to help strengthen and protect your teeth from acid erosion. Third, limit acidic foods and drinks, and rinse your mouth with water after consuming them. Fourth, eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D to help strengthen your teeth. Finally, consider using a night guard if you grind your teeth while sleeping. If you are interested in a night guard, please reach out to our office as we use the newest dental technology to fit our patients with custom-made, quality night guards.

The Benefits of Professional Dental Treatment for Enamel Protection

Professional dental treatment can also help protect your teeth from enamel erosion. Your dentist may recommend a professional fluoride treatment, which can help strengthen your enamel and protect your teeth from further acid erosion. Attending regular cleaning appointments also helps to remove any buildup of plaque or tartar that may be contributing to enamel erosion.

Taking Care of Your Teeth

Enamel erosion can be a serious and costly problem if left untreated, but there are many things you can do to protect your teeth. By following these practical tips for preventing enamel erosion and seeking professional dental treatment regularly, you can keep your teeth healthy and strong for years to come. Remember to brush and floss daily, eat a healthy diet, and see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings at Cypress Dental. With proper care, you can enjoy a bright, healthy smile for a lifetime.