Every day our tooth enamel bears the brunt of biting, chewing, and other forces, not to mention the buildup of plaque from what we eat and drink. Though good daily hygiene is often enough to counter severe erosion, sometimes our Brighton dentists need to provide patients with professional treatment to prevent further damage.
The loss of enamel can lead to tooth pain and the development of oral health problems. A dentist knowledgeable of how erosion dynamics affect teeth can help. Please call Dr. Meredith Pogal and Dr. Paul Sussman at 585-227-4390 for a free consultation. Our dentists serve patients in Brighton and throughout Upstate New York.
What Causes Enamel Erosion?
Excess acid in the mouth can damage tooth enamel. Diet is often a major source of harmful acids, with the following foods and beverages posing a particular threat:
- Soft drinks
- Citrus fruits
- Sugary or starchy snacks
- Coffee and tea
- Sports drinks
- Energy drinks
Environmental issues can also increase the risk of enamel erosion. Chronic teeth grinding wears down the enamel, while patients who suffer from acid reflux or bulimia might experience damage to the tooth surface with the frequent introduction of stomach acid into the mouth.
Dry Mouth and Enamel Erosion
Normally, saliva helps regulate acid content in the mouth and protect enamel from corrosive damage. However, certain factors can lead to chronic dry mouth (xerostomia), including:
- Genetic predisposition to xerostomia
- Medications such as antihistamines, antidepressants, and more
- Diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, and other diseases and conditions
- Chemotherapy and radiation treatment
- Tobacco use
- Amphetamine abuse
Xerostomia is a major risk factor for enamel erosion, which is why a perceptible change in saliva production should not be overlooked.
Treatment of Enamel Erosion
Unfortunately, damage to the enamel is irreversible. However, lifestyle changes and professional treatments can address symptoms and prevent further deterioration.
The initial signs of enamel erosion might include tooth sensitivity and yellowish discoloration. If our Brighton dentists catch erosion in its early stages, they can discuss modifications you can make to your diet and oral hygiene practices to reduce acid content in the mouth, as well as products that relieve sensitive teeth, dry mouth, and other related issues.
In more advanced cases of erosion, restoration or replacement of affected teeth might be necessary. Possible treatment options include:
- Dental bonding
- Porcelain veneers
- Dental crowns
- Reconstruction with dental implants
The best restoration option will depend on the level of damage and whether you want to address cosmetic or oral health issues. Restoring a tooth damaged by erosion can improve its appearance while reducing the risk of chips, cracks, and tooth decay.
Like most oral health issues, diagnosing and treating enamel erosion early is the best way to prevent pain and keep your mouth healthy. Please contact the office of Dr. Paul Sussman and Dr. Meredith Pogal online or call 585-227-4390 to arrange a free consultation. Our dentists serve patients in Brighton, Greece, Fairport, and other communities in the Rochester area.