Tooth erosion can cause the teeth to become worn looking, increasingly sensitive to certain foods, and susceptible to tooth decay and cavities. Knowing the causes of tooth erosion, as well as the ways in which the condition can be prevented, can help our patients maintain beautiful and healthy smiles. At our Seattle cosmetic dentistry practice, Dr. Mark Caggiano works to educate our patients about tooth erosion prevention. If the following information doesn’t provide you with all the answers to your dental health questions, or you already suffer from tooth erosion, please call our office for a consultation.
Your enamel is what protects the tooth from external sensitivities and daily activities. It allows you to consume hot or cold foods and beverages without the pain of nerve exposure; it also and protects your teeth from the pressure that is exerted through daily grinding, clenching, and chewing. Although your enamel acts as a shield, it isn’t without weakness. Tooth enamel can erode, chip, or break down over time.
There are several types of erosion that can affect the tooth. Knowing which one is causing your erosion can help us find an appropriate treatment. The four types of tooth erosion include:
Attrition: Otherwise known as grinding. The friction between your teeth erodes natural enamel and exposes the tooth.
Abrasion: This is caused from brushing too hard, or improper use of your teeth (i.e. biting nails, chewing on unnatural objects, etc.)
Abfraction: This is when you chip, break, or flex the tooth
Corrosion: This is caused by acidic foods or drinks, vomiting, acid reflux disease, and certain medications.
Other causes for enamel erosion are:
The most common cause of enamel erosion is acid. Acid is common in many foods and drinks. Recognizing where acid is found is imperative to slowing down the erosion process. Acid is found in foods like:
You don’t have to eliminate these foods to prevent harmful enamel erosion, but you can change how you consume them. Sipping carbonated drinks/sodas or juices through a straw can help eradicate contact of the acids to the teeth. Also making sure you immediately swallow instead of holding drinks in your mouth can reduce contact as well. The best course of action is to consume acid-filled products in moderation.
If erosion is caused from teeth grinding, we would suggest a fitting for a mouth guard to protect your teeth while you sleep. This doesn’t cease the grinding, but protects your teeth and enamel while you clench your jaw in your sleep.
If you are currently suffering from tooth erosion, please give Dr. Mark Caggiano’s office a call. We offer various cosmetic dentistry treatments and can turn your smile around in just one visit. You can undergo a thorough dental cleaning, whitening, or the placement of porcelain veneers in Seattle at the practice of Mark Caggiano, DDS. Contact us today.
For over 25 years, Dr. Mark Caggiano, DDS has provided cosmetic and restorative dentistry in a comfortable, professional environment. Dr. Caggiano received a degree in Biology and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The University of Southern California. He has had extensive post-graduate training and is a member of numerous professional organizations including The American Dental Association and The International Dental Implant Association. Dr. Caggiano makes dental treatment relaxed and comfortable for patients while enhancing their oral health and beautifying their smiles.