Gregorich Family Dental and Dental Implant Center, Duluth MN- Dental Tidbits
May 9, 2018
Gregorich Family Dental and Dental Implant Center, Duluth MN- Systemic Linkage
May 9, 2018

Are your Teeth “Melting”?
Erosion And How it Relates to Dental Problems

Gregorich Family Dental and Dental Implant Center, Duluth MN knows that erosion can become a major dental problem. Erosion is when dental enamel, the hard protective outside layer of tooth, is worn away by exposure to acids. This can lead to temperature hypersensitivity as well as compromise the structural integrity of the tooth.  Teeth eroded by acid are more susceptible to dental decay and also wear away faster if you grind your teeth. Wear accelerated by erosion appear as cupped or dimpled areas on the teeth.  See the following pictures of different erosion patterns and descriptions on where the erosion is located in the mouth. What causes dental erosion as well as what are contributing factors in our diets?

There are 2 types of erosion, extrinsic and intrinsic.  Extrinsic dental erosion occurs as a result of what is consumed or placed in the mouth such as acidic food and drinks. Erosion patterns are typically on the front of the teeth and chewing surfaces.  Extrinsic erosion is usually worse on the lower teeth.
Intrinsic erosion is from regurgitated stomach acids, and is usually a result of underlying medical conditions such as GERD or Bulimia.  Erosion wear is on the tongue the tongue sides and chewing surfaces of the teeth.

Common causes of chemical erosion are GERD (gastro esophageal reflux), Bulimia, acidic beverages and habits.

GERD
-Erosion on the tongue side of all upper teeth
-Erosion on chewing surfaces of lower teeth
-25-50% of GERD patients may not have any symptoms other than dental erosion

 -Precursor to Barrett’s esophagitis
-Barrett’s esophagitis can lead to esophageal cancer

Bulimia
-Erosion on the tongue side of all upper teeth
-Upper front teeth have more wear than lower front teeth

Acidic Beverage swishers (apple cider vinegar)
-Front teeth look satin in appearance
-Gum line areas of tooth defects

Acidic Beverage Pooler
-Lower back teeth heavy wear
-Potential for high decay
-Liquids with low PH and high titratable acidity with pop, sport drinks, commercially made ice teas.  The frequency of attacks (drinking) increases the problems of erosion and decay

Citrus Fruit Suckers
-Erosion on all front and tongue side surfaces

Here are examples of food and drinks listing their acidity level.
http://www.dentabout.com/worst-food-and-drink-for-your-teeth-infographic/
http://www.sipallday.org/userfiles/ckfiles/files/Sugar-Acid-Chart-11-07.pdf
http://www.powerofsour.com/userfiles/ckfiles/files/Acid_chart.pdf
http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=d&iid=315&aid=1272

Gregorich Family Dental and Dental Implant Center, Duluth MN’s recommendations to decrease erosion:

  1. Eat less acidic foods or combine them with an alkaline food, such as strawberries with yogurt,  beef with zucchini or another alkaline vegetable. Drink Green tea with something acidic and it will decrease acidic/ph levels.

  2. Drink and swish water after eating or drinking acidic food/drinks.

  3. Do not brush teeth for 30 minutes after acidic foods or drink, including your acidic coffee!

  4. Chew sugar free gum to increase saliva.

  5. Add fluoride prescription paste or fluoride varnish recommended by your dental team to prevent decay on teeth that are eroded.

  6. Desensitizing toothpaste as recommended by your dental team for sensitivity.

  7. See your dentist regularly for treatment recommendations.

Are you experiencing dental erosion? Contact Gregorich Family Dental and Dental Implant Center, Duluth MN to schedule an appointment today!