Dental erosion is very different to decay but can be just as bad for your teeth. Dental erosion is the irreversible loss of tooth structure due to acid exposure. Basically erosion occurs when the enamel is dissolved from the tooth by an acid.
Most erosion problems are caused by dietary habits, while some may occur due to gastric juices in cases of reflux, frequent vomiting (such as morning sickness or bulimia), or exposure to acid in some medications.
Common sources of erosion:
- Soft Drinks- diet and regular
- Sports Drinks
- Fruit Juice, fruit drinks, cordials and citrus fruits.
- Vinegar and pickles
- Gastric juices
- Chewable vitamin C tablets, aspirin and some iron preparations.
Controlling Dental Erosion
- Change to non-acidic alternatives such as milk or water instead of soft drink and juice
- Drink quickly or through a straw, avoid sipping or swishing
- Restrict acidic foods and drinks to main meals.
- Avoid tooth brushing for 30mins after eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages.
- Avoid brushing for 30 minutes after vomiting
- Brush twice daily with a fluoridated tooth paste and soft tooth brush
- Rinse with water after acidic foods/drinks or gastric upset.
- Take vitamin C in tablet form without chewing or sucking.
- Reduce intake of acid foods and drinks where ever possible.
- Ask your dentist if you require an additional fluoride treatment e.g. fluoride rinse.
- Chew sugar-free gum.