Tooth wear-and-tear also happen from bruxism or teeth-grinding during sleep and specific medication side effects. So, before you slurp down your next soda, think about what will happen to your teeth. Soda is the primary public enemy in terms of having dental enamel erosion, which is a common and often painful condition.
What is Tooth Erosion?
Tooth erosion is the most common reason for tooth enamel damage. As it happens gradually, the signs and symptoms go unnoticed. Here are some of the things that you need to watch out:
- Discoloration: Teeth that are yellow, extra shiny, and have dark spots are possible signs of enamel loss.
- Surface Texture: A rough feeling on the tooth surface is one of the initial signs of enamel loss. Tooth cupping, the indentations that are caused by damage to the tooth enamel, cause the roughness.
- Sensitivity: Tooth enamel erosion causes heightened sensitivity to hot or cold foods. The sensitivity increases as the damage progress.
- Mouth Odor: Other than causing tooth erosion, bacteria buildup on tooth also causes bad breath.
How do you restore a damaged tooth?
When enamel erosion happens, the tooth becomes vulnerable to tooth decay. If the enamel loss is apparent, the best way to save the tooth is to undergo tooth enamel restoration. The dentist usually recommends a root canal, a dental crown or veneer, an implant, or a dental bridge.
Before, if you have tooth erosion or worst tooth decay, an extraction will be most likely advised. But now, with the aid of advanced technology and improved dental instruments, it is highly possible that your damaged tooth will be restored and saved through root canal treatment.
Root canal treatment alleviates the pain from decay and infection. Some people are unwilling to undergo this extensive treatment. But with the help of anesthesia and improved dental techniques, the root canal procedure is now easier and more comfortable.
Recommended Read: Root canal Treatment: Everything you need to know
Dental Crowns or Porcelain veneers
A dental crown increases the strength and improves the appearance of the damaged tooth. It is the best treatment for severely broken enamel. A dental crown naturally blends with the teeth. For this reason, it is also commonly used in dental cosmetics for teeth alignment and color correction.
A porcelain veneer is an alternative option for dental crowns. It helps correct minor tooth shape changes due to enamel erosion. However, porcelain veneers are less durable compared to dental crowns.
A dental bridge is needed if a tooth is missing in between 2 adjacent teeth that are being restored. It is fixed to dental crowns that are already placed on the teeth. Dental bridges also help to prevent misalignment of teeth due to the gap created due to a missing tooth.
How can you prevent tooth enamel erosion?
Prevention is always better than cure. In preventing tooth erosion and keep your perfect smile to last longer, there’s a simple formula to follow – rinse, brush, and floss. Also, it’s important that you visit your dentist at least twice a year, ideally every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup.
You may also do the following:
- Lessen or remove acidic foods from your regular diet. It includes citrus fruits and juices like lemons and oranges, sugary products, processed foods like corned beef, and carbonated sodas.
- If intake cannot be avoided, brush, and rinse your mouth right after eating acidic foods. If brushing is impossible to do, you may just rinse your mouth with clean water.
- Be conscious of your snacks. Snacking on sweets and other starchy foods make your teeth more prone to tooth erosion and decay. Prevent frequent snacking on sweets unless you will be able to brush your teeth and do a mouthwash.
- Try chewing sugar-free xylitol gum. Chewing increases your saliva production, which improves oral health. Xylitol decreases acidity in the food.
- Hydrate with water.
- Brush with fluoride-added toothpaste.
- Choose alcohol-free mouthwashes and toothpaste. Alcohol increases the chance of dry mouth.
- Check any medication, like aspirin that might cause enamel erosion. Ask your doctor for alternative medication or change the dosage, if possible.
- If you have bruxism or teeth grinding, consult with your dentist for proper treatment. A mouthguard is the best tool to prevent enamel loss with this condition.
Good Read: The Best and Worst Food for Your Teeth
Even with its strength, the tooth enamel is still vulnerable to damage. But, with the right oral hygiene, proper diet, and regular dental check-ups, you will be able to maintain a perfect smile.