Tooth decay is caused by oral bacteria eating away at the structure of a tooth. Tooth erosion, however, is something different. Also known as enamel erosion and acidic erosion, this problem involves the weakening of tooth structure due to an acidic oral pH. The enamel wears away, leading to weaker teeth, tooth discoloration, and greater risk of fractures and root canal infection.
The team at our Houston, TX believes in preventative care just as much as it does restorative dentistry. Because of this, we’d like to take a moment to consider the causes and risk factors of tooth erosion. Knowing the reasons for enamel loss, you can make helpful adjustments to your lifestyle and dental health habits.
Soft Drinks and Carbonated Beverages
Soda, beer, and champagne have various effects on your general health, including a number of negative effects on dental health. Drinking too many of these carbonated beverages contributes to acidic erosion. Using a drinking straw can help these harmful liquids bypass the teeth, preventing acidic erosion.
Fruit Juices and Sugary Drinks
Drinks don’t need to be carbonated to cause enamel erosion. Sugary sports drinks and fruit juices can increase the acidity of the mouth. Instead of sugary drinks, consider having a clean glass of water instead. It’s more refreshing and much better for you.
Dry mouth can increase the risk of many dental problems since regular saliva production is key to proper remineralization of the teeth. A dry mouth is an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive, and it can also increase oral acidity. Again, consider staying hydrated with water throughout the day to help keep your mouth moist.
Diets that are high in starchy and sugary foods make tooth decay as well as acidic erosion much more likely. Try to eat healthier foods that are whole and contain only natural sugars. Avoid added sugar whenever possible, as well as too much processing.
Regular Antihistamine and Aspirin Use
Research has found that regular use of antihistamines and aspirin can contribute to enamel erosion if they are more acidic in nature. Be sure to discuss these matters with a dentist or your general practitioner.
Acid Reflux (GERD)
People who suffer from acid reflux could experience issues with dental erosion if these matters are not dealt with. Be sure to discuss treatments for acid reflux and other digestive issues with your doctor.
Eating Disorders (Bulimia)
People who struggle with bulimia and other eating disorders will face a various problems linked to their dental health as well as general wellness. With bulimics, the frequent vomiting increases the acidity of the mouth, weakening teeth in the process. If you suffer from an eating disorder or have a loved one who does, be sure to seek professional assistance. Help is out there.
Genetic Factors/Family History
Your genes determine a lot of who you are, so it should come as little surprise that problems with acidic erosion may run in some families. Keep these mind as it can determine how diligent you ought to be when it comes to your dental care routines.
Learn More About Your Dental Care Needs
To learn more about dental erosion and how we can help you have stronger tooth enamel, be sure to contact an experienced dentist serving the Houston area. We will discuss your dental health needs and provide honest advice on your best options for treatment.