We all know how important our teeth are to our overall health. Once we realize that enamel, the hard outer surface of the tooth, does not contain living cells and therefore does not have the ability to repair itself, it becomes a priority to protect it.
Dental erosion refers to the enamel of the tooth being worn away –forever. As the enamel of the tooth erodes, the tooth is weakened and prone to a host of dental problems.
What causes dental erosion?
There are a number of causes for tooth erosion, however, all of the causes relate to an acidic condition of the mouth which then erodes the enamel.
Some of the causes are:
Dry mouth – since saliva helps balance acidic levels in the mouth, this condition greatly reduces the body’s ability to maintain a healthy environment in the mouth
Medications –aspirin and antihistamines for example
Environmental factors –including wear and tear and accidents that cause tooth damage
Researchers have recently discovered, however, that the biggest causes of dental erosion are frequent consumption fruit juices and soda!
Why are fruit juices and soda so bad for our teeth?
Sugary drinks such as, diet and regular sodas, carbonated drinks, flavored fizzy waters, sports drinks, fruit and fruit juices, cause damage to our teeth when they are consumed too often. This is because acidity levels in the mouth are not given enough time to restore itself when these drinks are consumed too often.
Although fruit juice may be a nutritious drink, the high concentrations of sugar and acid can lead to severe dental damage if these drinks are consumed often each day. Meanwhile, sodas have no nutritional value, so there is not much of a case to include them in a person’s diet.
Two beverages that are safe to drink and show up regularly in the research as a trend among those people with less enamel erosion, include milk and water.
Dr. San Mahara, comments that, “drinking milk or water are great choices for the good of our oral health. But if we do drink sugary drinks, keep in mind that it is how often we consume them that causes the most concern – for better health try to reduce how often you reach for these drinks.”
Dental erosion can occur at varying levels of severity and does not always need to be treated. With regular check-ups and advice your dental team can prevent the problem getting any worse and the erosion going any further.
Severe cases of tooth wear can result in the need for major restorative dental work, so it is important that we keep to a good oral hygiene routine to help ensure that these challenges do not arise in the first place.