Tooth erosion

Teeth wearing down is often not as simple as just the grinding of teeth.

Acidic drinks such as energy drinks, colas and fruit juices all dissolve the calcium (phosphate) crystals which give tooth enamel its hardness. Frequent consumption of these drinks will erode the enamel and particularly in combination with tooth grinding at night can cause major vertical wear of all teeth in the mouth. Once into the softer and less acid resistant yellow dentine,  the teeth can erode out in a gouging manner leading to widespread sensitivity and often major damage to many teeth. The solution to this is to have less of these drinks, but when one does, use a straw to bypass the teeth. Rinsing immediately afterwards with water or milk also helps wash away the remaining acid from the teeth. It is critical not to brush the teeth for at least half an hour after the acid drink as the saliva requires time to repair the surface of the tooth.

Another major cause of chemical tooth erosion is gastric reflux. Some people have a defective oesophageal sphincter at the top of the stomach, allowing reflux of  acid up the oesophagus and into the mouth. This can happen silently when they are asleep.If a person suffers from heart burn from time to time and their teeth are eroding chances are it is caused by acid reflux while asleep.This requires investigation by a gastroenterologist not just for the teeth but to avoid oesophageal ulceration and further problems.

Bulimia, an eating disorder that involves self induced vomiting, exposes the teeth to stomach acids which will aggressively dissolve calcium from the teeth. We discretely refer to a specialist psychologist to help people overcome this condition.




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