What is Tooth Erosion and is it Dangerous? Spring Texas
Tooth erosion is a condition that affects both adult and children. Simply put it the loss of tooth enamel. Enamel is the outer layer that protects your tooth. When the tooth enamel is lost, then the barrier that protects your tooth is lost and the inner dentine layer is left exposed. This will provide a way for bacteria to easily reach the inner layers of your tooth. Further, hot and cold temperatures will reach your teeth nerves and you will often feel sensation on your teeth. Tooth erosion is a condition that cannot be reversed once it occurs.
What causes tooth erosion?
- Poor oral hygiene
When you do not take good care of your teeth, plaque will build up providing the perfect condition for bacterial buildup. The bacteria then eat on your tooth enamel causing its damage or erosion.
- Food and drinks
There are foods that corrode your tooth enamel. They include sugary and acidic foods and drinks. Beverages such as energy drinks, carbonated drinks, fruit juices contain a lot of acidic and sugar so do foods such as lemons, sour milk, eggs, and sweets among others. Such foods and drinks will cause damage to your teeth enamel.
- Dry mouth
Your saliva is essential as it flushes away bacteria. People with dry mouth produce very little saliva, which causes bacterial build up and erosion of the enamel in the teeth. Drink lots of water if you suspect you have a dry mouth.
- Teeth grinding
Most people grind their teeth unknowingly some while asleep others while stressed. Tooth grinding can be very destructive as it erodes the teeth due to the force used. Tooth grinding can be treated but if left untreated it wears down the teeth enamel and can even cause cracks in your teeth.
- Aggressive brushing of teeth
When harsh toothpaste or rough toothbrushes are used to brush one’s teeth, they can wear down the surface of the teeth. This leads to erosion. Brush your teeth using a soft-bristled brush and use a recommended fluoride toothpaste to avoid damage to your teeth.
- Medical conditions and medication
Medical conditions such as heartburn, acidic reflux, and gastroesophageal reflux diseases will cause tooth erosion. Additionally, some medications such as aspirins and antihistamines will lead to tooth erosion if frequently used.
Is tooth erosion dangerous?
Tooth erosion is dangerous as once the tooth enamel is lost it cannot replace itself. This leads to a number of dental conditions that are a danger to your oral health. Some of these conditions include:
- Tooth decay
When enamel erodes, you will notice that you start suffering from cavities or tooth decay. Cavities will result in bacterial infection as food will be lodged in the cavities and the tooth will begin to decay. The decay allows bacteria to thrive, which will lead to an infection. If infection affects the tooth nerves, you will need to undergo a root canal procedure to save your tooth.
- Tooth pain and sensitivity
When the tooth enamel wears down, the nerves of the teeth are exposed. This causes pain and increased sensitivity. The pain will be caused by the contact of your tooth nerves to the hot and cold food and drinks. When the erosion is mild, sensitivity might be manageable but as the erosion process continues, you might need to undergo a root canal procedure to prevent more sensitivity.
- Discolouration of your teeth
During the teeth enamel erosion, you will notice a yellowing on your teeth. This is due to the exposure of your dentine, which is yellow in colour. The enamel thins and allows the dentine colour to be seen.
- Decreased function of your teeth
The exposure of your teeth nerves can make eating or drinking painful. You might also notice increased sensitivity every time you want to brush your teeth. These effects lead to decreased function of your teeth.
The erosion of the enamel causes the outer layer to become thinner. With time light may be able to shine through and you might think your teeth are transparent. Additionally, the tooth might have a smooth, shiny, or glazed surface due to mineral loss.
- Cracks in teeth
Erosion of tooth enamel might cause small cracks and indentions to develop on your teeth.
- Loss of teeth
If enamel erosion is left untreated, it can lead to infection in your teeth due to bacteria. If this is not corrected on time, the result is tooth loss.
What can be done to prevent tooth erosion?
You can prevent tooth erosion by practising proper oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day and use a recommended fluoride toothpaste. You also need to cut down on the intake of sugary and acidic food and drinks. Additionally, visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.
At Vita Dental, we have a few dental procedures that can restore your teeth from damage caused by enamel erosion. In some instances, we will use dental bonding to protect your teeth from further erosion. Tooth-colored fillings are another wonderful option to restore the strength of your teeth. In case too much erosion has already occurred, we can use a crown to restore and protect the tooth from further damage. Excessive damage to the tooth will need a root canal treatment to retain the tooth.
If you are in Spring Texas visit us at Vita Dental where we will offer a treatment plan after a thorough evaluation of your teeth. In case, erosion has not happened yet come for regular dental checkups and cleanings to prevent enamel erosion. We offer friendly and quality services at pocket-friendly prices.