The enamel is an extremely important part of your tooth, as it protects the entire tooth structure from daily uses like grinding, crunching, biting, and chewing. While it is a hard protective surface, it can crack and chip, and once the damage is done, there is no reversing it.
Unfortunately, the enamel is sensitive to acid and can wear down with frequent exposure, so if you have been experiencing tooth surface erosion, it is important to find the cause so that you can eliminate it.
One of the main causes of tooth erosion is your diet. If you drink a lot of soda or fruit juices, you could develop erosion, as both of these beverages contain high levels of acid. Additionally, a diet high in starch and sugar can also cause erosion.
There are certain medical conditions that can also lead to surface erosion. If you suffer from acid reflux disease or gastrointestinal problems, you may develop excess acid in the mouth. Even something like chronic dry mouth can cause surface erosion because the restricted saliva flow will make it difficult to wash away harmful acids form the teeth.
Corrosion, stress, friction, and wear and tear can all cause erosion to the surface of the teeth. The clenching and grinding associated with bruxism is a major contributor, but if you bite on hard objects like pens, ice, or your fingernails, you may also develop erosion.
Plaque is a sticky film consisting of bacteria, food particles, and saliva, and when it accumulates on the teeth, the bacteria will convert food starch into acids. These acids can then begin to eat away at the minerals in the tooth enamel, causing wear and pitting that will get worse with time.
If you are concerned that your teeth might be wearing down or experiencing erosion, contact our office to set up an appointment.