Causes of Tooth Erosion
The enamel on your teeth is a tough substance that coats and protects each tooth’s underlying dentin. Tooth erosion can occur when the enamel begins to wear away due to a number of possible causes. Once enamel has deteriorated enough, the dentin becomes vulnerable to increased tooth sensitivity, weakened structure, and pain.
The causes of dental erosion are generally chemical in nature and not the result of bacteria or decay. You may already know that items such as coffee, tea, red wine, and cigarettes can stain your enamel. This surface staining can usually be removed during a cleaning and polishing visit at your local Birmingham dental office. Dental enamel can be permanently damaged, though, by consistent exposure to certain acids and other environmental issues that may cause tooth erosion, a more serious condition.
What Causes Tooth Erosion?
Acids can wear away at the enamel on your teeth, chipping or cracking it, resulting in structural tooth damage. Some of the acids you consume on a consistent basis that can lead to tooth erosion include the following:
- Soft drinks containing loads of phosphoric and citric acids
- Fruit drinks, which are highly acidic
- Eating foods that are high in sugar and starches
Certain medical conditions make you more prone to tooth erosion, such as:
- GERD, which is an acid reflux disease
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Dry mouth
- Consistent use of certain medications such as aspirin or antihistamines
Enamel erosion can also be inherited genetically or be the result of certain other factors:
- Bruxism (teeth grinding during sleep)
- Brushing teeth too hard
- Flossing incorrectly
- Biting on hard items (pens, fingernails)
- Chewing tobacco
- Stress fractures in a tooth
- Frequent vomiting
Treating Tooth Erosion
The loss of your tooth enamel and any resulting misshapen teeth can be treated in a couple of different ways.
Tooth Bonding: The dental professionals affiliated with Alabama Family Dentistry can correct your smile due to tooth erosion using a composite bonding method that matches the color and translucency of your other teeth for a natural, renewed appearance.
Crowns: The family dentists located in the Birmingham area can also fit a porcelain or other recommended type of crown to cover your existing tooth. A crown is typically used when tooth structure has seriously deteriorated due to tooth erosion.
This information does not, of course, take the place of professional dental advice. If you are concerned about loss of dental enamel or have any other dentistry concerns, please make an appointment with Alabama Family Dentistry or a dental practitioner in your area. Alabama Family Dentistry has four locations in the Birmingham area: Warrior Family Dentistry, Acton Road Family Dentistry, Gardendale Family Dentistry and Sumitron Family Dentistry.