Causes of Tooth Erosion

By Steven Kail on December 20, 2013

Teeth are strong and durable, created to take decades of normal wear and tear, and the strongest part of the tooth is its protective hard enamel shell. But due to genetics or bad habits, even that strong enamel can suffer from erosion with time. At Premier Dental Center, Drs. Kail, Leonard, and Arnold help patients in Bells combat tooth erosion every day. By understanding the basic causes of tooth erosion, you can be better equipped to avoid it in the future.

What Causes Tooth Erosion?

There are several causes of tooth erosion. Each one is more common than you might expect, and leads to countless cases of tooth erosion and decay every day:

  • Poor dental hygiene is a major cause of tooth erosion - leaving food debris and bacteria on a regular basis invites decay and a higher acid level within the mouth, both of which wear down the tooth
  • Sugary food and soft drinks - excessive sugars within the mouth create an enticing environment for bacteria
  • Highly acidic food and drinks, like orange juice or sour candies, can eat away at tooth enamel
  • Stomach acids brought into the mouth through acid reflux, heartburn, GERD, or frequent vomiting can lead to dental erosion
  • Gradual wearing from habits such as tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, as well as chewing foreign objects (ice and pen caps are common culprits) 

How Can I Correct Tooth Erosion?

If left untreated, tooth erosion can lead to uncomfortable side effects like transparency and discoloration of the affected teeth, as well as tooth sensitivity or pain when eating cold or hot foods. If you are suffering from these effects, there are several ways to treat tooth erosion issues.

If tooth erosion is extremely mild, you may be able to strengthen your teeth again through re-mineralizing toothpaste prescribed to you by your cosmetic dentist. Your dentist may be able to correct moderate tooth erosion with composite resin dental bonding on the affected area. If tooth erosion is more extensive and severe, your cosmetic dentist will likely recommend full tooth replacement with porcelain dental crowns

Can I Prevent Tooth Erosion?

While there are effective ways to correct tooth erosion once it has happened, most patients will agree that it is far preferable to prevent erosion from happening in the first place. Now that you know the primary causes of tooth erosion, there are several common sense tactics that you can employ to guard against tooth erosion:

  • Cut down on sugary or acidic foods
  • Drink more water to combat the acidic effects of dry mouth
  • Rinse your mouth with water after each meal to remove debris and bacteria
  • Rinse, but do not brush your teeth immediately after eating highly acidic foods
  • Use a soft toothbrush to avoid wearing away enamel through aggressive brushing
  • Use fluoride toothpaste or a fluoridated mouthwash

Contact a Skilled Cosmetic Dentist Today

If you are suffering the effects of tooth erosion, it is not too late to turn back the clock - a skilled cosmetic dentist can restore your smile to a stronger and healthier state. Contact Drs. Kail, Leonard, and Arnold at Premier Dental Center today to learn more about the effects of tooth erosion and how to correct them.

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