Acid Erosion

Have you been watching the news today?

Acid erosion is a hidden problem for our dentists, often patients do not realise the effects acidity has on our teeth. It is mostly healthy choices in food which causes acid erosion such as fruits or herbal teas, therefore it can often go undetected! You may not be chewing on sugar cubes but having acidic food and drink throughout day could be your problem.

Tooth erosion – the facts

– It is progressive loss of the hard substance of a tooth by chemical processes that do not involve bacterial action

– The acidity of the food or drinks is critical rather than the sugar content (bacteria, along with sugar, cause tooth decay not erosion)

– Diet, lifestyle choices, the environment and in some cases, medication can increase the risk

– Using fluoride toothpastes or rinses and modifying your diet can reduce the risk of erosion

How to avoid acid erosion:

  • If you are having a fizzy or fruity drink. Try to drink it all at once and DON’T continuously sip.
  • Drink through a straw so the fluid goes straight to the back of the mouth and does not sit around your teeth
  • Avoid acidic snacks
  • When having your 5 a day try to have them at the same time as your meals breakfast, lunch and dinner rather than a snack in between. So, your teeth are not constantly being hit with acidic sugars through out the day.
  • Limit fruity teas
  • Maintain a balance diet include neutralising foods along with acidic ones to create an even balance.

What drinks are acidic?

  • alcohol
  • fruit teas
  • flavoured water
  • squashes
  • diet drinks
  • sweetened drinks

Which ones are not?

  • water
  • tea
  • coffee
  • milk
  • sparkling water

What does acid erosion look like?

Erosion is the loss of tooth enamel caused by acid attack. Enamel is the hard, protective coating of the tooth, which protects the sensitive dentine underneath. When the enamel is worn away, the dentine underneath is exposed, which may lead to pain and sensitivity and discoloration as it has broken down the enamel and now exposes the darker layer of the tooth dentine.

If you have concerns acid erosion may be affecting, you teeth contact your dentist and arrange an examination appointment as soon as possible to see what treatment can be done to help you and what you can change at home to prevent it was from getting any worse unfortunately it is not reversible.

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