What are the causes of tooth erosion?
Tooth erosion can have several causes and may be multi-factorial but all causes of dental erosion are ACID RELATED!!! I call them ACIDIC EVENTS.
A list of dental tooth erosion causing conditions and products.
- Carbonated beverages (soda) – swishing any liquid before swallowing is even worse
- Sports and energy drinks (Gatorade)
- Many pure fruit juices
- Sucking on acidic foods or candy ie lemon sucking
- Acid reflux (GERD) most common symptom people feel is heart burn at night
One the above x-rays you can see the damage over a 2 year period, this tooth erosion is from GERD.
Signs and Symptoms of tooth erosion
- Shorter teeth as they wear down (several examples of this linked here as well as how I fixed)
- Sensitivity as the outer protective enamel wears away
- Cupped or divoted areas in your molars (as seen below)
- Transparent edges on front teeth that chip and crack away.
|Before treatment of erosion and after|
Classification of tooth erosion
Dental tooth erosion can be minimal or sever so there is a scale that helps describe the severity. The Keels Coffield Scale of dental erosion breaks down erosion into 4 categories of severity and it is an easy way for patients to visually see what is happening and possibly correlate the images to their own destruction.
Ways to prevent tooth erosion
- Stop drinking acidic liquids, which is most products bought in the store
- Rinse mouth with water after acidic event
- DO NOT brush teeth after acidic event (common to have morning juice and then brush=big no-no). Brushing your teeth right after an acidic beverage accelerates the erosion of the enamel much more so than if the acid was just sitting on the teeth.
Ways to fix dental erosion
- Dentist can build back what was lost and protect the remaining tooth structure with composite filling or porcelain
- Much easier to prevent that repair!!