Teeth are covered by a thin layer of tooth enamel, which is highly sensitive to changes in the pH of saliva. Over time, certain foods, medications and/or stomach acid from a condition like gastro esophageal refulx disease (GERD) can cause tooth enamel to dissolve and erode.
Most patients don’t notice damage caused by acid erosion until advanced stages. This is an alarming issue because once tooth enamel is lost, it will not grow back. When the enamel dissolves, the teeth become more susceptible to damage, discoloration and decay.
Signs of Tooth Enamel Erosion
Common symptoms of tooth erosion include:
- Tooth sensitivity, especially to hot, cold or sweet food and drinks
- Chipped teeth or sharp tooth edges
- Tooth discoloration or darkening of the teeth
- Thinning or shortened teeth, may be recognized as changes in the bite
- Pain or irritation in the mouth
How to Prevent Further Enamel Erosion
One of the best ways to prevent tooth erosion is to practice healthy dental habits. This should include regular visits to the dentist along with brushing twice daily using a dentin-sensitive toothpaste.
If you suspect acid reflux disease or GERD, consult with your physician. Though these are chronic conditions, they can be managed through a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. The following treatments may be helpful:
- Dietary changes to remove trigger foods which often include fried or greasy food, tomato based food, chocolate, carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, coffee and alcohol
- Quit smoking
- Lose weight, acid reflux and GERD are more common in patients who are overweight or obese
- Drink plenty of water
- Elevate the head of your bed at least 6 inches higher than the foot
- While antacids can help to relieve the burning sensation caused by acid reflux, be sure not to overuse these medications as they can also cause dental problems.
Treatment for Tooth Enamel Erosion
If your teeth are already affected by dental erosion, Dr. Doray can provide a range of cosmetic and restorative dental treatment options to repair damage and restore teeth to their optimal health and appearance.
Schedule a Consultation
Philadelphia based Dr. Doray is welcoming new and out of town patients. Call us at (215) 395-6076 to schedule a consultation to determine the best type of treatment for you.