Acid erosion: What it does and how to stop it

acid-erosionWhat is acid erosion in teeth?

Acid erosion is when acids wear away the enamel layer of your teeth. The enamel is the hard outer surface of your teeth. It can lead to sensitivity, tooth decay, misshapen, chipped and worn teeth, and even tooth loss.

How does acid erosion happen on teeth?

Erosion can be caused by things we eat and drink (extrinsic) and things from inside us (intrinsic).

What do you mean by extrinsic?

When you eat or drink anything acidic (like soda/sparkly water, fruit juices, smoothies, soft drinks, sports drinks, citrus fruits, white and red wine, vinegar) the protective layer of enamel becomes softer for a while and overtime your saliva helps to cancel out the acid attack and gets your mouth back to a neutral pH balance. But if the acid attack happens too often the enamel can be permanently destroyed which results in the loss of the strong enamel.

What is intrinsic?

This is often due to stomach acid that comes back into the mouth. For example, people who suffer from heart burn, indigestion, bulimia, dry mouth, pregnancy related vomiting and other medical conditions.  All these factors result in very strong stomach acid regurgitated into mouth which will soften and wear away the teeth.

How can I stop acid erosion?

This is where you need to monitor things you eat and drink throughout the day. If you drinks fruit juices, smoothies, hot water and lemon, fizzy drinks then try drinking them through a straw. This will by pass the teeth.

Drink plenty of water. After having an acidic drink swish your mouth with half a glass of water. This helps to reduce the acid attack.

Try eating a piece of cheese. This will help neutralise the acid in your mouth faster. Chewing a piece of sugar free gum for a few minutes can also help.

Wait at least half an hour before brushing your teeth after having anything acidic. This stops you from brushing the acid into the teeth.

Use a high fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is great for strengthening your teeth.

Visit your dentist as recommended. At Time Dental we can spot things early and help give you the correct preventative advice.