Your teeth are protected by a very strong substance known as enamel. It stops tooth decay and protects the inner workings of your teeth, such as the dentin, and keeps infection from reaching the pulp of your tooth. While the enamel of your tooth is strong, it is not completely indestructible. It can be compromised, and when that happens it known as dental erosion.
Dental erosion can be caused by acid in your mouth. That acid can be a result of reflux, bulimia, alcohol use and pregnancy, or the acid can come from what you eat and drink. Failing to brush and floss will let plaque and bacteria build up on your teeth, which can wear away your enamel and create cavities. If you grind or clench your teeth, which is known as bruxism, you will wear down the enamel. If your teeth are sensitive to cold, hot or sweet food and drinks, are yellowing, or showing chips or dents, or even becoming transparent around the edges, you should talk to your dentist about dental erosion.
Worn enamel is an irreversible condition. It can be addressed with procedures such as dental veneers, but more importantly, dental erosion is preventable. You can limit or avoid acidic foods and drinks, as well as drink plenty of water. Hard cheese and yogurt contain calcium, and fruits and vegetables provide needed vitamins and minerals. If you suffer from bruxism, your dentist can fit you with a mouthguard to wear while you sleep.
Brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush; and flossing before bed will help prevent dental erosion, and you should also see your dentist for your regular cleanings and exams. If you are seeing the signs of dental erosion, you should visit Dr. Christopher Lillo as soon as possible. If you live in the Toms River, New Jersey, area, you can call 732-341-1120 to make an appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon!