What is Erosion ?
Dental erosion happens when the top layer of your teeth called the enamel wears away due to the acids that come up from your stomach. This can cause more cavities to form because the protective enamel is gone.
Your stomach creates natural acids to help digest food and usually the acid travels back up and into your mouth especially after larger meals and your saliva rebalances your acid levels so this doesn’t affect your teeth in the long run. However, for people that may suffer from acid reflux or gastric acids this process can be damaging especially when you’re asleep and your mouth is producing less saliva.
If the enamel has started to wear away you would feel the following:
- Pain or sensitivity when drinking, hot, cold or sweet drinks
- Discoloration of teeth
- cracks and chips
- indentations known as cups on the surface of your teeth
- Develop abscess (extreme case)
- Experience tooth loss (extreme case)
Unfortunately dental erosion is permanent and you may need to get dental work such as fillings or crowns to restore those teeth.
How can you protect your teeth?
To protect your teeth or gain some relief you could do the following
- Chew sugar free gum to help produce saliva and neutralise the acids in your mouth
- Fluoride toothpaste or some prescription toothpaste which would help reinforce the enamel
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
- Avoid eating 3 hours before your bedtime.
- See your dentist regularly and they may be able to recommend ways to protect the tooth enamel or suggest ways to get more relief.