What is dental erosion?

Dental erosion occurs when tooth enamel wears away, and can lead to a number of oral health concerns.

Although your tooth enamel is very strong, unfortunately it isn’t resistant to wear and tear. Enamel can be attacked and worn down by acidic foods and drinks, as well as certain bodily fluids.

When dental erosion occurs, the teeth become more prone to decay and can also be affected in a number of cosmetic ways. Read on to find out more about the effects of dental erosion and how it can be treated and prevented…

What is tooth enamel erosion?

The outer layer of the teeth is made from a hard substance known as enamel. Enamel helps to protect the teeth against damage, but because it is exposed to the acids in many foods and drinks, it can wear away over time. This process of wear and tear is known as dental erosion.

What issues does dental erosion cause?   

Dental erosion can lead to a number of issues, including a higher risk of tooth decay. Eroded enamel can also cause discolouration of the teeth — when the white enamel wears away, the underlying dentin may be revealed. This can cause the teeth to appear more yellow than white.

Dental erosion can also cause the teeth to appear translucent —as the enamel thins, more light passes through it. Dental erosion can also cause changes to the shape of the teeth. As the teeth become worn down, they may take on a rounded shape due to the loss of enamel.

Other possible symptoms of erosion include tooth sensitivity, chips and cracks, and indentations on the surface of the teeth.

Can dental erosion be treated?

Fortunately, the effects of dental erosion can often be managed with the proper intervention. In cases of minor erosion, it may be possible to strengthen your remaining enamel with the help of a remineralising toothpaste and a fluoride treatment.

In more severe cases, your dentist may recommend the placement of crowns. Crowns are designed to cover the entire tooth and conceal cosmetic imperfections while strengthening the structure of the tooth.

Can dental erosion be prevented?    

When it comes to preventing dental erosions, it is a good idea to avoid foods and drinks that are particularly acidic. Some of the most acidic foods and drinks include sour candy, carbonated drinks and citrus fruits and juices. If you do enjoy the occasional acidic snack, be sure to rinse your mouth with some water afterwards to minimise the effects of the acid on your teeth.

It’s also advisable to visit your dentist for regular check-ups so that any signs of dental erosion can be identified and treated at an early stage. We recommend that you see your dentist every six months or so to maintain your overall oral health.

How can we help?  

At City Smiles, we offer a comprehensive range of general, cosmetic and restorative treatments so if you have noticed the effects of dental erosion, we can help. Whether you would like to come in for a check-up, or would like to restore the function and appearance of your teeth with the help of crowns, we encourage you to come in for a consultation so that we can guide you through the process.

If you are ready to make an appointment to see us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or you can call us on 03 9654 6979. We look forward to helping you enjoy optimal oral health, as well as a beautiful smile.