Preventing Tooth Erosion: Causes and Treatments

Toronto Tooth Erosion Treatments

Tooth erosion is one of the leading causes of dental health problems, even though it is preventable. Understanding the causes of tooth erosion can help you prevent erosion from occurring. If you already suffer from tooth erosion, it can be repaired with restorative dentistry treatments to get your oral health back on track. To learn more about the causes and treatment for tooth erosion, we invite you to read the following overview from Toronto dentist Sol Weiss.

The Causes of Tooth Erosion

Tooth erosion is the gradual wearing away of the outer layer of the tooth, called the enamel. Tooth enamel is important for protecting the inner structures of the tooth from harmful bacteria and infection. When the enamel is worn away, it leaves the tooth vulnerable to decay and painful root canal infections. Enamel erosion can be caused by a number of factors, such as:

  • Highly acidic foods and drinks: Exposure to acid can erode the tooth’s enamel. Acid can come into contact with our teeth through the foods we eat and drink, like citrus fruits, soft drinks, and wine.
  • Sugary foods and drinks: Sugary foods and drinks can cause erosion by increasing plaque. The bacteria in plaque thrive on sugar and excrete acid when they digest the sugar. The more sugar you eat, the more bacteria will grow and the more acid will be deposited onto your teeth, creating a vicious corrosive cycle.
  • Starchy foods and drinks: Like sugary foods, starchy foods and drinks increase bacteria production. Starchy foods also increase the stickiness of plaque, causing enamel erosion.
  • Acid reflux: Acid reflux can allow stomach acid to come into contact with the teeth. For those who regularly suffer from acid reflux, tooth erosion may occur.
  • Low saliva production: Saliva is important for washing away food particles and neutralizing acids in our mouths. People who suffer from low saliva production are at risk of acids and food particles staying within the mouth, causing tooth erosion.
  • Frequent vomiting: Like acid reflux, frequent vomiting allows harsh stomach acids to come into contact with the teeth.
  • Teeth grinding: Teeth grinding can wear away the enamel through friction.
  • Aggressively brushing the teeth: Aggressively brushing the teeth, whether by applying too much pressure, using a hard bristled brush, using an overly abrasive toothpaste, or a combination of the three, can wear away the enamel over time.

Preventing and Treating Tooth Erosion

Fortunately, tooth erosion is both preventable and treatable. You can help prevent tooth erosion by practicing proper oral hygiene, avoiding acidic, sugary foods, and seeking treatment for gastrointestinal problems like acid reflux. There are many restorative treatments to address every degree of tooth erosion. For those with minor tooth erosion, tooth-colored fillings may be enough to correct the damage while those with major erosion may require a porcelain crown. Treatments for tooth erosion include:

  • Tooth-colored fillings: Tooth-colored fillings can be used to fill cavities resulting from tooth erosion.
  • Porcelain veneers: Minor decay and enamel damage may be repaired with porcelain veneers.
  • Porcelain crowns: For teeth with major dental erosion or damage, porcelain crowns may be suitable for restoring the strength and appearance of the tooth.
  • Dental implants: If left untreated, tooth erosion can lead to tooth loss. Dental implants can be paired with different dental restorations to permanently replace one or more missing teeth.

Schedule a Consultation

Learn more about your treatment options. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Weiss today!