Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Erosion EnamelFlash a smile with sparkling teeth. But, what if your teeth have suffered erosion of the tooth? It is in this context that we need to understand what is tooth erosion and how does it make your teeth look, etc.
Tooth erosion is nothing but irreversible (most of the times) wear out of or abrasion of the tooth surface including the dentine and enamel by acids.
Tooth enamel is the hardest of the classified calcified mineral tissue and it covers and protects the tooth surface. In fact, this is the portion that is visible when one smiles showing teeth. Besides tooth enamel, tooth is again composed of another calcified tissue named dentine, and it is softer than the enamel. The saliva also contains calcium and this calcium assists in strengthening and re-mineralization of teeth. But in case where tooth erosion sets in, re-mineralization fails so there is no natural repair of preliminary loss of enamel tissue.
Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Erosion
- Teeth tend to get discolored, white color transforms into yellowish tinge. The proportionality is direct and as there is more erosion the greater will be the exposure of interior dentine and also the degree of discoloration.
- The sensitivity of teeth increases due to wear out of the enamel and exposure of dentine.
- Change in the shape of the tooth (the edges become rounded).
- Tooth cracks at the edges and dents on tooth surfaces.
Tooth erosion can be due to intrinsic or the extrinsic factors.
- In people with GI and/or eating disorders there is frequent regurgitations of stomach acids resulting in very high acidity in the mouth that slowly erodes teeth surface.
- Dry mouth is another factor and it is common in older people where there is little/no saliva to neutralize the acids.
- Excessive intake of alcohol and carbonated drinks increases the acidic reaction within the mouth.
- Excessive consumption of acidic foods including citrus fruits, caffeine and beverages will harm the teeth in long run. Even the so-called health drinks such as concentrated fruit juices have very high degree of acidity.
• There are some acid-generating medicines and heavy use of such medication can be harmful to teeth. Besides, swimmers also tend to show tooth erosion problems due to exposure to chlorine.
Treatment for tooth erosion
- First off, dietary modification will be a great step towards treating tooth erosion. Put checks on intake of beverages and acidic foods.
- For a dry mouth patient, recommending a chewing gum could be beneficial to generate saliva.
- There are a few desensitizing toothpastes that can help restore the sensitivity of teeth. However, it is recommended to people with early stages of teeth erosion.
- Floride therapy can also treat moderate tooth erosion as it helps in the process of re-mineralization for restoration and protection of tooth enamel.
• For a person with badly eroded teeth, restorative cosmetic treatment remains to be the only answer. Although it is expensive, the aim of the treatment is to put crowns, bridges and sometimes aims at complete mouth reconstruction.
How to prevent tooth erosion?
- Reduce intake of acidic foods and beverages.
- After drinking any beverage make it a point to rinse the mouth with water to neutralize the acid.
- Use of a straw is preferred to swishing a drink inside the mouth.
- Never rush to brush your teeth after consuming an acidic food, as sometime should be given for natural re-mineralization.
- Brush your teeth twice daily using a floride-based toothpaste.
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