Erosion of the layers of the teeth is the loss of tooth enamel due to acid attacks, enamel is the hard layer of the teeth that protects the delicate dentin located directly below it, and when the enamel erodes the dentin is exposed, causing pain and excessive sensitivity, and in general, the erosion of the layers of the teeth is recognized through cavities at the level of age and general wear and tear of the chewing surface and edges, where the dentin is yellower and darker in color than the enamel, this phenomenon leads to hypersensitivity of the teeth to hot, cold or acidic foods and drinks.
What causes the erosion of the layers of the teeth?
Every time you eat or drink something acidic, tooth enamel temporarily softens and loses minerals, saliva slowly removes this acidity in your mouth to restore a neutral balance, however, if acid attacks are too frequent, the mouth fails to restore this balance and small fragments of the enamel, over time, the surface of your teeth becomes thinner, and there are two sources of acids, they can come from inside the body or be brought from the outside:
- Intrinsic acids: frequent vomiting (especially in the case of eating disorders), digestive disorders with stomach acid reflux (reflux), otherwise known as heartburn.
- Exogenous acids: acidic foods and drinks (fruits and vegetables), acids, vinegar, soft drinks, fruit juices, energy drinks, etc.), but also medicines (aspirin, vitamin C preparations, iron fortifiers, etc.)
How do I know if I suffer from erosion of the layers of the teeth?
Mild erosion often goes unnoticed because it does not cause symptoms and is limited to the superficial layers of enamel. In contrast, advanced erosion can lead to dental hypersensitivity to hot, cold or acidic foods and drinks, dystonia may also appear (staining), in addition to cavities in the tooth, in general, there is a general erosion of the chewing surface and edges.
What are the health problems that can promote the erosion of the layers of the teeth?
Bulimia is an eating disorder in which the patient vomits in an attempt to lose weight. The acidity resulting from vomiting damages the enamel of the teeth.
Acids produced by the stomach return to the mouth. This is called gastroesophageal reflux disease. People who have hiatal hernias, esophageal problems, or who drink a lot of alcohol can experience erosion of the layers of the teeth due to frequent vomiting.
Can diet play a protective role?
Acidic foods and drinks can cause erosion. Acidity is measured by a ph. Anything less than 5.5 is more acidic and poses a threat to your teeth.
Sodas and carbonated drinks can cause erosion. It is important to remember that even “mild” cues are harmful. Flavored sodas can also contribute to the erosion problem when consumed in large quantities because they contain weak acids that attack your teeth.
- Acidic foods and drinks like fruits and fruit juices, especially those with citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, contain natural acids that are harmful to your teeth. This is especially the case if you consume it often and in large quantities.
- Also, soft drinks containing citrus fruits, “alcopops” or “premix”, promote erosion of the layers of teeth.
- Plain water is the best drink for your teeth, followed by milk as it helps flush out acids from your mouth.
Are energy drinks safe?
- Many energy drinks contain ingredients that help erode the layers of teeth, however, it is important for athletes to avoid dehydration, which can lead to dry mouth and bad breath.
Should I use other special products?
- Along with fluoride toothpaste, your dentist may suggest using a fluoride mouthwash and using a fluoride varnish at least every six months. He or she may also prescribe a fluoride-rich toothpaste.
- What treatment is required?
- In the case of erosion of the layers of the teeth, treatment is not always necessary, thanks to regular check-ups and the advice of your dentist, the problem and erosion are under control, if the tooth needs treatment, it is important to protect the tooth enamel and the underlying dentin to prevent hypersensitivity, in general, it is sufficient to fill (filling) the tooth to repair, however, in more serious cases, the dentist must install a veneer.
How much does treatment cost?
- Prices vary according to the type of treatment required.
- It is important to discuss all treatment options with your dentist and get a pre-written quote.
- We often underestimate the risks of dental erosion, which is a real enemy of oral health, caused by acid attacks. After consuming certain categories of food and drink, our team tells you how to recognize this problem and shares their tips to prevent it.
How to prevent the erosion of the layers of the teeth?
The enamel that the acids eat away is permanently lost. However, there are ways to reduce the incidence of such lesions. It relates to the four main risk factors: oral hygiene, diet, saliva, and personal condition.
- Did you know that excessive hygiene with inappropriate dental care products and poor brushing techniques can damage your teeth?
- A thorough and thorough cleaning of all tooth surfaces takes at least 2-3 minutes.
- It is best to use a soft toothbrush and avoid excessive pressure while brushing.
- It is preferable to use a fluoride toothpaste with a low abrasive strength (RDA value of about 40).
- Once a week, apply a high-fluoride product to all of your teeth. Fluorides increase tooth resistance to acids.
- We recommend that you follow a healthy and balanced diet, it is better for your teeth and your health in general.
- Reduce the number of cases of exposure to acids during the day.
- If you consume acidic drinks, it is best to combine them with a meal and drink it all at once, rather than in small sips, it is recommended to use a straw to avoid prolonged acid contact with the teeth.
- Neutralize the acid by rinsing your mouth with water, drinking a little milk or eating a piece of cheese.
- Saliva has the ability to neutralize and dilute acids within the oral cavity. Each of us secretes a specific amount of saliva. People with poor saliva flow are at greater risk of eroding the layers of the teeth.
- Stimulating the production of saliva by chewing sugar-free gum.
- Drink enough fluids that are sugar-free, acid-free and water ideally, spread the consumption throughout the day.
Digestive disorders or eating disorders
- Individuals with gastrointestinal disease or eating disorders are at particular risk for dental erosion.
- Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting or after acid reflux. If you do not, it is best to rinse your mouth with fluoridated mouthwash or with plenty of water.
- After consulting your dentist, use a high-efficiency fluoridation product.
- Feel free to seek help if you have an eating disorder.
The power of the right mouthwash
When it comes to treating dental erosion, a safe sodium fluoride mouthwash can go a long way in slowing/stopping the erosion process. Gargling with a mouthwash of this type contributes to the fact that enamel crystals, which protect tooth enamel from acid attacks, are less amenable to tooth decay. Soluble (enamel crystals dissolve only at ph 5, 1 or lower), less soluble components also bind to the enamel, in doing so, creating a surface layer made up of strong enamel crystals in which the fluoride is integrated.