Our Birmingham dentist discusses the surface of the teeth and problems that can arise due to erosion.
Whilst some damage to teeth, such as breakages or even minor chips can be easy to spot and treat quickly, other damage can creep up quite gradually without us realising and until it is too late to prevent.
A case in point is when the enamel of the teeth become eroded. In many cases, this occurs on the upper surface of the teeth and, especially on the front teeth, may cause problems that are quite visible.
A potential sign that the enamel of the teeth is suffering from erosion is sensitivity, where the reduced enamel exposes the nerves inside the tooth to heat and cold.
Staining too is more likely as teeth staining foods and drinks such as red wine, find and cling to the tiny pockets left by the eroded enamel.
If you run your tongue or fingers on the front surfaces of your teeth and it feels rougher than it should, this is possibly a sign that your teeth have suffered erosion and may need treating by your local dentist.
What causes enamel erosion?
At Arthur House Dental Care in Sutton Coldfield, we see many cases of enamel erosion which have been caused by a variety of factors. These tend to fall into three categories; diet, medical issues and other dental related issues.
Diet – a significant cause of erosion arises from drinking excessive quantities of fruit juice. In fact, some acids in fruit drinks are actually more corrosive than the acid from batteries! Because these drinks pass over our front teeth, they can do a significant amount of damage if drunk in excess. Drinking through a straw can help to avoid much of this.
Medical – some medicines can have the side effect of causing enamel erosion although naturally a balance has to be made if the medical condition is serious. Even some commonly used medications such as aspirin can have this effect and other pain-killing alternatives may be more suitable.
Unfortunately we also see cases where bulimia sufferers have eroded teeth due to the acids in the gastric juices that pass over the teeth when vomiting.
Dental Issues – a major cause of dental erosion is bruxism, or teeth grinding. The gradual friction between the teeth naturally wears the enamel away and in severe cases can even cause breakages due to the weakened state of the eroded teeth.
Whilst the use of a fluoride toothpaste will help to prevent erosion by strengthening the enamel, it may not be enough to stop it all together and treatment at your local dentist may be necessary.
The treatment used will depend on how the erosion has affected the teeth. In very minor cases cases, it may be possible to use dental bonding to rectify the problem. In other cases though, more complex reconstructive techniques may be required.
If you suspect that your teeth may have been eroding, please call our dental practice in Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham on 0121 323 4492 and arrange an appointment to have them checked.Google+