O’Fallon Dentist Gives an Overview of Acid Erosion—its Causes and Treatments
Although our teeth feel stable and inert, they actually change throughout the day as we eat and drink different substances. The outer layer of the tooth is called dental enamel. This white, hard substance is responsible for protecting the inner tooth from damage and infection. Dental enamel is mineralized so that it forms a hard protective barrier. This is why we’re able to eat and chew without pain or sensitivity.
Throughout the day, as you eat and drink, your teeth become slightly demineralized due to the acids produced by these substances. This is a normal occurrence, and generally your teeth are remineralized by saliva and oral hygiene products. However, sometimes teeth can are chronically demineralized either because they are exposed to a significant amount of acid over a long period of time, or because natural saliva is not able to effectively remineralize the saliva—this is acid erosion.
If you’re suffering from acid erosion, you may not even notice any symptoms for months, sometimes years. Eventually, however, acid erosion progresses to such an advanced stage the dental enamel is worn down and soft. Consequently, patients can experience tooth sensitivity and dental cavities.
Your dentist can help you determine whether you need to take any additional steps to protect your teeth from erosion. If you’re worried that you may be suffering from acid erosion, you can call our O’Fallon dentists to schedule an appointment or for more information.
There are also some simple steps that you can take in your daily hygiene routine to reduce your risk of weakened enamel. All of these steps aim to reduce the amount of acid that your teeth are exposed to for significant periods of time.
-The most obvious step you can take is to limit your consumption of acidic substances. Some acidic substances are necessary for a healthy diet, such as fruits and fruit juices. Others, however, like soft drinks and wine, you can responsibly limit in your diet.
-When you consume acidic beverages like fruit juices or soft drinks, you can use a straw to bypass dental enamel.
-You can also rinse your teeth with water after eating or drinking to neutralize acid.
With proper dental care and professional cleanings, you can effectively fight acid erosion and maintain a healthy smile. Our O’Fallon dental office is here for you—give us a call if you have any questions or you’d like to discuss your situation in greater detail.