Over a third of adults have tooth erosion. Though it’s common, the sensitivity and discomfort the condition can cause can become even worse and lead to major problems, both for your teeth as well as your jaw and more. Knowing how to keep your teeth strong and healthy is important to avoid the pain and health issues dental erosion can lead to.
What is Tooth Erosion?
Dental erosion is the irreversible loss of tooth enamel. It’s caused by acids in the mouth. These acids can be the result of dietary habits, poor oral care, and even how you sleep.
- Acidic Drinks
Drinking coffee, soda, and alcohol can lead to erosion because these drinks affect the pH balance in your mouth and create an acidic environment. This can lead to a type of erosion that appears as a hollowed-out area on the chewing surface of the tooth.
Consuming these drinks with a meal may help balance the amount of acid in the mouth. It is also possible to reduce the acidity level by consuming the drink in a short period of time, as opposed to sipping it. Other ways to prevent an acidic environment in your mouth is to not swish the drinks but swallow immediately and drink water alongside any of these beverages.
- Oral Hygiene
A dentist has probably said to you, “If you take care of your teeth, your teeth will take care of you.” The best weapon against tooth erosion is simple daily oral care. Knowing how to take care of your teeth and practicing good habits recommended by your dental professionals can help your smile last a lifetime.
Make sure you’re gently brushing your teeth at least 2X a day. Flossing and tongue scraping are also excellent weapons to remove plaque and acids from the mouth. Mouthwash is also good, but, if possible, choose an alcohol-free one or rinse your mouth with water afterward.
- Grinding Teeth in Your Sleep
Tooth grinding breaks down and flattens the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Your dentist or dental hygienist will often recommend a night guard for patients exhibiting signs of grinding their teeth. Orthodontic treatment can help align the teeth to ensure they come together properly.
Treatment for Tooth Wear
Although the damage of tooth erosion is permanent, there are easy, painless treatments available. Your tooth’s enamel won’t grow back, but you can take measures to prevent further erosion and preserve your smile. For example, your dentists could put a filling over the damaged surface to help protect against continued wear.
Regular check-ups with your dentist can also help them monitor the site of the tooth wear and keep track if it worsens. This can help prevent the extra pain in your mouth and wallet if the situation continues unmonitored. A Dental Plan from ASBA is another great way to keep the cost of dental care under control. These dental plans can save you on routine cleanings and filling, crowns, and more. Sign up for the plan that’s right for you.