Can teeth erode?
There are two ways your teeth can be worn away: abrasion/attrition and erosion. Abrasion/attrition is from physical trauma or grinding. Erosion is from outside substances or chemicals. Both can be damaging and cause serious long term dental issues. So what can you do to protect against these factors?
- Early detection is essential. Maintain regular dental visits
- Chewable and effervescent formulations should be avoided, especially when experiencing dry mouth
- Use a soft toothbrush and low abrasion fluoridated toothpaste
- Delay brushing for at least 1 hour after consuming acidic foods like citrus fruits
- If you’re using any acidic medications or lozenges, try to avoid holding them in the mouth for extended periods of time.
- When possible, try tablets over liquid medications
- If you have dry mouth, continue to drink lots of water to counteract problems
- Use toothpastes like Pronamel to help strengthen and protect your teeth if you’re at risk for dental erosion
Other ways we can wear our teeth:
- Abrasion is loss of tooth structure due to mechanical action of a foreign element, such as a hard bristle toothbrush or a lip piercing.
- You can protect yourself from abrasion is to identify the issue and eliminate the habit or problem.
- Attrition is loss of tooth structure from mechanical forces of opposing teeth.
- Typically this is treated by some type of mouth guard. In some cases it can be helped by stress reduction, behavior modification, or treating interferences causing the tissue to grind.
- Abfraction is loss of tooth structure on the side of the tooth that is caused from occlusal (biting) forces.
- A night guard is usually recommended to protect the teeth from more destructive forces
- In some cases the worn areas on the side of the tooth will need to be restored with filling material to strengthen and protect the tooth
If you are ever unsure if your teeth are beginning to wear or if you are not sure whether something may cause a problem, be sure to consult your dentist to be safe.