What is Tooth Wear
Worn teeth are a common problem, erosive wear is a condition that affects up to 30% of people.
Teeth are made up of a hard outer layer- Enamel which is tough like marble and a softer inner layer like sandstone. However these can wear just like pebbles on a beach. The tooth can slowly dissolve if it’s surrounded by acid
Erosion starts when minerals are removed from your teeth and softens the enamel
The ingredients for re-hardening your teeth are found in saliva and fluoride in toothpastes so the softening can be repaired
The wear can affect all teeth and results in:
+Sensitivity- stopping you from enjoying cold drinks on warm Summer evenings.
+Weakened enamel resulting in chipped and worn teeth which cause rough areas that cut on the tongue and repeat visits to the dentist.
+Translucent (thin) front teeth which will look aged
+Yellow teeth as the enamel wears thin.
How did I get erosive tooth wear?
One of the most common ways to wear away the tooth is by drinking and eating acidic drinks and foods outside meal times.
CITRUS ACID; oranges, lemons, wine
VINEGAR: such as pickles, balsamic, salad dressings, SV crisps
FIZZY: fizzy water, fizzy drinks such as Prosecco
Damage can also be caused by stomach acid:
Vomiting: with conditions such as bulemia
Acid reflux this is very common and usually presents with Heartburn. This is a great website with more information.
Do you need to see a medical doctor?
If you have Acid reflux, bulimia or any other condition which is causing acid to come up from your stomach- I would advise consulting with your GP.
Enamel cannot be replaced. Early on, when there is just surface softening, toothpastes can help re-harden the enamel.
- Avoid snacking on acidic fruit and drinks Enamel cannot be replaced. Early on, when there is just surface softening, toothpastes can help re-harden the enamel.
- Cut down on snacking between meals on acidic food and drinks
- Fruit is an important part of a healthy diet. Snacking on acidic fruits, such as citrus, apples, pineapples, grapefruit can cause erosive tooth wear. But if you take thee fruits at meal times the risk is very low.
Less acidic fruits – bananas, coconut
Most erosive fruits – oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, apples
- Cut down on carbonated drinks and fruit juice
- Limit them to mealtimes so they are washed out of the mouth/diluted by food when swallowing.
Fluoride combines with the ingredients in saliva to form a tougher version of enamel that is more resistant to acid
Toothpaste should include at least 1450 ppm fluoride, if you have a problem with erosive tooth wear ask your dentist which is best for you
Some toothpastes have ingredients optimised for the prevention of erosive tooth wear. However, don’t brush your teeth right after eating or drinking acidic foods or drinks.
Give time between eating and brushing your teeth.
If you also suffer from sensitivity you may need a toothpaste with other ingredients.
Only brush two times a day
Use a soft-medium toothbrush
Brush in a gentle, circular motion
Do not brush immediately after anything acidic
Seek medical advice if you have erosive tooth wear due to acid reflux or frequent vomiting
If you are on a medication that causes dry mouth, ask if you can be switched to one that doesn’t. Do not stop taking any medication without first consulting your doctor
How do I fix my worn teeth
Is it expensive?
Not only is Endodontic treatment often the best option for you the patient, it is also an extremely cost-effective way to treat damaged teeth. Indeed it is less expensive than extraction and placement of a bridge or an implant. Endodontic treatment also has a very high success rate, with many root canal treated teeth lasting a full lifetime after the procedure.
A wealth of information and video content is available at the Erosive Toothwear website.