Tooth erosion is a serious condition that can affect people of all ages. The condition results in the erosion of the enamel of the teeth; in some cases, even the inner layer of the tooth can begin to erode. The damage of tooth erosion cannot be reversed, but there are steps that can be taken to prevent further damage. To avoid long term oral health problems, it is important to seek treatment for tooth erosion. At our Shreveport cosmetic dentistry practice, Shreveport Bossier Family Dental Care, our dentists offer treatment for tooth erosion.
Causes of Tooth Erosion
Many oral health problems are caused by the presence of bacteria in the mouth. Tooth erosion is different in that it develops when the mouth contains too much acid. This can be a problem for patients who routinely consume food or beverages with a high acid content. Patients who suffer from acid reflux or bulimia are also more likely to suffer from tooth erosion as stomach acid enters the mouth repeatedly. Saliva is meant to serve as protection by controlling the pH level in our mouths. Therefore, patients with dry mouth need to be especially careful about controlling the food and beverages they eat. Swimmers should also be careful, as chlorine has been shown to make a patient susceptible to tooth erosion.
Symptoms of Tooth Erosion
There are multiple symptoms of tooth erosion and these symptoms may vary in severity. Symptoms of tooth erosion can be painful. The appearance of your smile can also be affected by tooth erosion. Symptoms of tooth erosion include:
- Tooth sensitivity: When the protective enamel of the tooth is compromised, a patient will experience sensitivity to extreme temperatures. As the erosion progresses, this sensitivity will become more extreme.
- Discoloration: The outer layer of enamel gives our teeth their white color. As this layer is lost to erosion, our teeth will become discolored. This will become increasingly obvious as the erosion worsens.
- Cracks or chips: Tooth erosion compromises the strength of the tooth enamel so cracks and chips are more likely to occur. Tooth erosion can also cause teeth to be rough and uneven around the edges.
- Cupping: Cupping describes teeth that appear to be dented in.
Preventing Tooth Erosion
Because tooth erosion results in permanent loss of dentin, it is extremely important to stop the problem before more damage is done. Some of these steps can prevent further tooth erosion.
- Maintain a regular brushing routine
- Floss daily
- Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings
- Avoid drinking highly acidic beverages and consume more water
- If you do consume highly acidic food or beverages, rinse your mouth with water afterwards
- Chew sugar-free gum to keep your mouth moist
Treatment for tooth erosion will depend on the extent of the damage caused. Sometimes a regular cleaning and a fluoride treatment are enough to restore the pH balance in your mouth. Often times, we will need to perform additional dental procedures to treat the damage that has been caused by tooth erosion. For our patients in Shreveport, porcelain veneers, dental crowns, or dental implants may be required to correct severe damage from tooth erosion.
Schedule an Appointment
Our doctors at Shreveport Bossier Family Dental Care can examine your teeth to determine the extent of tooth erosion and develop a treatment plan. Schedule an appointment to begin treatment and restore the health and beauty of your smile.