Protect your teeth from acid erosion!

February 8, 2018

We all know sugar is a known culprit of dental caries, but did you know that acid, which can come from diet or acid reflux, can be just as destructive to your teeth? The image below, from Dental Arcade, illustrates the devastating effect that acid can have on your teeth. 


So what foods in our diet are common sources of acid? 

Things like coffee, wine, and tonic or lemon water. Beverages can be especially damaging because many people will sip on them throughout the day, which doesn't allow saliva time to act as a buffer between meals.


Additionally, heartburn can create a more acidic oral environment. Over time, acids erode away the enamel, which is the outer layer of tooth. When the yellow inner layer, dentin, is exposed, people experience sensitivity and changes in bite. 


To prevent erosion, reduce sources of acid in your diet, and increase foods that help to neutralize, such as cheese or even water. Talk to your doctor if you suffer from acid reflux. People with low levels of saliva are also at risk, because saliva has natural minerals that act as buffers to strengthen teeth. Chewing xylitol gum following meals can help to stimulate saliva. 


For those who have already experienced erosion, dental restorations including sealants, fillings, and even veneers can be noninvasive ways to restore the outer structure of tooth and protect against further erosion. Use soft or extra-soft bristled toothbrushes and toothpastes low in abrasiveness, along with topical fluorides to keep your enamel strong. Talk to your dentist about what's best for you!


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