Many people are suffering from dental erosion and they probably don’t even know it.
Dental erosion causes severe wear to the teeth due to sustained direct contact between tooth surfaces and acidic substances. It is caused by a chemical component. A chemical component can refer to any liquid with a low Ph and a high titratable acidity. Dental erosion can be found in areas where there is ‘no occlusion’ or no contact between the teeth in regards to the relationship between the upper and lower teeth. It can also appear as cup-like lesions on the cusps of lower molars and premolars, or it can be recognized by seeing fillings or restoration over the natural surface of the teeth.
In European studies*, research has concluded that dental erosion by a chemical acid process is a bigger problem in the US today than mechanical tooth wear, attrition or abrasion. Erosion or corrosion can be caused by gastro esophageal reflex, bulimia, acidic beverages, citric fruits and personal habits.
- Gastro esophageal reflex is a condition, where 25-50% of the people affected have no other symptoms other than dental symptoms. This condition causes severe wear of the lingual surface (the surface of a tooth that faces inward toward the tongue and oral cavity), of the upper and lower teeth, and also the occlusal surface (the surface of the teeth that comes in contact with those of the opposite jaw) of the posterior teeth.
- Bulemia specifically affects the upper anterior teeth.
- Acidic beverages, such as sodas, coffee, energy beverages, and tea are most commonly known to wear the enamel of the buccal surface of the teeth (the front surface of the teeth which face the cheek). They are also known to create ‘islands’ of missing enamel in the teeth.
- Citric fruits will create tooth wear specifically in the area of most contact, generally in the upper anterior teeth (incisors and canines). The most common fruits, from more to less harmful are limes, grapefruit and oranges.
- Personal Habits can be harmful too. One example of putting aspirin specifically on an area of your mouth, can localize enamel erosion in that area.
Making sure that you eat and drink the right foods and beverages is important to you and your teeth. If you consume too many acidic foods and beverages, the acid could be wearing away your enamel. Prevention now is more important than ever. If you notice these types of changes in your mouth, please consult us to prevent further damage to your teeth and/or to discuss treatment options.
Dr. Estela DeCastecker
For more information regarding the long-term effects of dental erosion or to schedule an appointment, please call our Mentor, Ohio Dental Office today at 440-975-9855.