On a daily basis, many Americans consume acidic foods and beverages, from fruit to sodas, juices, and wine. At the same time, hundreds of bacteria live along the gum line, as well as the teeth and tongue. It’s true—some bacteria are helpful. Yet, when harmful bacteria pair up with acid from foods and beverages, a war of sorts breaks out. Sometimes referred to as an “acid attack,” tooth enamel begins to wear down, exposing the inner layer of dentin. This is when tooth (acid) erosion begins.
To better understand how acids are formed, consider the sticky, colorless bacteria called plaque. Plaque works hand in hand with sugars and starches to produce acids. To combat the effects of acid on teeth, calcium and phosphate minerals (found in saliva) work with fluoride from toothpaste and water. Throughout the day, the process of losing minerals and regaining minerals continues in a cycle.
When tooth (acid) erosion begins, exposing the dentin, teeth lose their ability to counteract the effects of acid. This is because dentin is a much softer, porous material. In a sense, it soaks up bacteria, putting teeth at great risk for decay.
Early Signs of Tooth (Acid) Erosion
Tooth Sensitivity: With the outer layer of enamel is compromised, it is common for individuals to feel a twinge of pain, especially when eating hot or cold foods and beverages. This is only the beginning. With more and more dentin being exposed, tooth sensitivity will increase.
Discoloration: As the enamel wears away, teeth will begin to appear yellow in color.
Tooth Shape: Many notice that their teeth take on a rounder shape as the enamel is worn away.
Cupping of Teeth: On the chewing surfaces of teeth, individuals may notice the appearance of “dents” or even fillings that seem to pull away from the teeth.
Seeing Your Dentist Is Key
While there are tips for reducing the effects of tooth (acid) erosion, seeing your dentist is key. Dentists provide invaluable knowledge and insight about your oral health.
At the helm of Marvin Village Dentistry, Dr. Ginger Walford welcomes patients to her family-focused practice, where comfort and convenience are highly valued. Delivering excellence in dentistry with the latest innovations, you’ll feel more confident than ever about your oral health. Call Marvin Village Dentistry today.
Posted on behalf of Marvin Village Dentistry