Acid erosion and your teeth – what you need to know

While it may be an unseen threat for the patent, acid erosion is a major issue for dentists and is caused by a range of factors from too much fruit to stomach reflux. Caused by a softening of your tooth’s enamel, its effects are wide ranging and prevention is always better than cure in this case even though treatment is available.

Today, let’s look more closely at acid erosion and give you an idea of what it is and how to deal with it. At Walkinstown Dental Surgery, we’re firmly committed to looking at the bigger picture of your overall dental health and it’s crucial we keep you fully informed.

Why is it an issue?

Diets have changed so much in the 50 years and fizzy drinks, even so-called ‘healthy juices’ are a major part of many diets – especially in children.  In Ireland, wine is now one of our most popular alcohol drinks and this sees sugars consumed in larger volume than in times past.  Gastric reflux is probably not helped by a great range of spicy and processed foods which many of us have trouble digesting.  And this has all led to a rise in acid erosion levels because the acids contained in these foods soften the surface of tooth enamel. And if your teeth are constantly being attacked from those sources, they never have a chance to recover.

Even fruits are loaded with certain sugars and too much fruit will contribute to acid levels. If you drink lots of fizzy drinks and fruit juices as well as eat lots of fruit, you’re at risk of acid erosion. Research has also shown that acid reflux and serious conditions like bulimia will increase erosion and is a difficult thing for your dentist to treat.

What is the problem?

The Impact of acid erosion is dangerous and the wear caused by acid erosion can lead to a number of issues including a reduction in the thickness of your tooth enamel and sometimes a change in texture. It can also result in your teeth becoming sensitive.  Unfortunately, patients are often not aware of acid erosion until it’s at an advanced stage.  So in this case, we believe firmly in prevention although there is treatment available if that advanced stage has been reached.

If you want to reduce the risk of acid erosion in your diet, there’s plenty of things you can do.  First of all, try and give up fizzy drinks and reduce the amount of juices or alcohol drinks you take. It’s also been shown that waiting a while after you eat before you brush also helps. At Walkinstown Dental Surgery, we have seen many cases of acid erosion over the years and we are happy to advise you on both prevention and treatment if required.



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