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What Causes Tooth Enamel Erosion?

Do you drink too many soft drinks? Or chew tobacco frequently? Or you often bite your nails? If your answer to these questions is yes, then it’s possible that your tooth enamel is eroding. Tooth enamel erosion is the damage to or wearing of the outermost covering of the teeth. The enamel is a translucent hard tissue that acts as a protective layer for our teeth. Therefore, tooth enamel erosion can cause several dental issues.

The following reasons contribute to tooth enamel erosion.

Excessive Soft-Drink Consumption

Acids present in fruit juices, when consumed in higher amounts is harmful to the tooth enamel. In addition to fruit juices, soft drinks or carbonated drinks contain high levels of phosphoric and citric acid which, when consumed regularly, can erode the enamel tissue causing decay and damage to the tooth. This causes pain and discomfort while eating and can only be treated by visiting an emergency dental clinic.

Dry Mouth

  • Scientifically known as xerostomia, the dry mouth syndrome reduces salivary flow in the mouth increasing the acid content in the mouth and causing the erosion of the tooth enamel which eventually affects the tooth structure.

Unhealthy Oral Habits

Friction, wear and tear, stress, and corrosion can cause erosion of the tooth surface. Some clinical terms used to describe these actions are:

Attrition. This is natural tooth-to-tooth friction that happens when you clench or grind your teeth, also known as bruxism, which often occurs involuntarily during sleep.

Abrasion. This is physical wear and tear of the tooth surface that happens with brushing teeth too hard, grinding teeth when asleep, improper flossing, biting on hard objects such as fingernails, bottle caps, pens, or chewing tobacco.

Abfraction. This occurs from stress fractures in the tooth. As a result, your tooth can crack from flexing or bending of the tooth.

Corrosion. This is a chemical reaction when acidic content hits the tooth surface due to consumption of certain medications like aspirin or vitamin C tablets, highly acidic foods, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and frequent vomiting from bulimia or alcoholism.

Gastrointestinal Problems

An acid reflux from the stomach into the mouth can erode the enamel. Gastrointestinal problems such as frequent vomiting and acid reflux bring high levels of acid into the mouth and cause the tooth enamel to wear away leading to tooth enamel erosion.

If you notice any discoloration of teeth, sensitivity while biting or cracked and chipped tooth then you might have tooth enamel erosion that needs immediate treatment. Book an appointment with your dentist and know more about the emergency dental services offered for treating tooth enamel erosion.