Tooth Erosion: Causes and Treatment
Tooth erosion is a common problem that afflicts millions of people, wearing away at a tooth’s protective layer of enamel and causing a host of problems ranging from sensitivity to cracks and decay. But the effects of tooth erosion no longer have to be permanent. Dr. Clark Damon and his skilled team at Texas Denture Clinic offer a range of restorative dentistry treatment options at his Fort Worth office.
What Causes Tooth Erosion?
There are several factors that can lead to tooth erosion, ranging from environmental triggers to more personal physical issues. Some of the most common causes of tooth erosion include:
- Sugary or Acidic Foods and Beverages: This can range from coffee and tea to fruit juice and soft drinks, all of which can contain high levels of acids in addition to the potential for a lot of sugar. Any diet high in sugar and acids can wear away at tooth enamel.
- Improper Tooth Brushing Technique: Rigorous abrasion can wear down any surface, including tooth enamel. Patients who brush too hard, or use a stiffer toothbrush bristle than is necessary, may find out that they are brushing away not just bacteria but precious tooth enamel.
- Acid Reflux Disease or GERD: Just as acids from food can trigger tooth erosion, acids coming from within can also be a factor. As stomach acids work their way up the esophagus, they can cause tooth damage.
- Bruxism: Chronic tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, can heavily factor in to tooth erosion beyond a mouth’s normal wear and tear.
These are some of the most common causes of tooth erosion, but they are by no means the only cause. Genetics is also a major factor - some people are simply born with a weaker or thinner layer of tooth enamel. Other factors can include medical issues such as bulimia or simply a reaction to certain medications.
What Are the Symptoms of Tooth Erosion?
How do you know if you are suffering from tooth erosion? Depending on the stage your teeth are currently at, it may be hard to tell. Symptoms of tooth erosion include:
- Tooth Sensitivity or Pain: As the enamel wears away and delicate tooth nerves come closer to the tooth’s surface, sensitivity can increase dramatically. As sensitivity increases, it can graduate to pain from hot, cold, sweet or salty foods.
- Tooth Discoloration: Teeth can become dull and gray or yellowed as tooth erosion progresses and a glossy coat of enamel is worn away.
What Are My Tooth Erosion Treatment Options?
If you have discovered that you are suffering from tooth erosion, the next logical step is to pursue treatment. Depending on the severity of your erosion, you may end up choosing from one of several options:
- Preventative Measures: When tooth erosion is caught early enough, it is possible to reverse its effects simply by changing your lifestyle choices. Cutting back on sugary and acidic foods can give teeth the time they need to heal themselves.
- Dental Bonding: A small amount of tooth erosion can be easily corrected with dental bonding, a process in which a resin material is applied directly to the tooth.
- Crowns or Dentures: If tooth erosion is severe, teeth may no longer be salvageable. If this is the case, the placement of one or more dental crowns may be the best option to repair teeth damaged by tooth erosion.
Contact Your Restorative Dentistry Specialist Today
A good cosmetic dentist can help you determine the best options to repair tooth erosion. If you are suffering from even the earliest signs of tooth erosion, contact Dr. Clark Damon and his team at Texas Denture Clinic to learn more about your tooth erosion options today.