Preventive dentistry has made great breakthroughs over the past decades. These include the introduction of fluoride, extended sensitivity reduction methods and tartar control dentifrices. In spite of those improvements, many patients still experience numerous oral complications including dental erosions.
What is a Dental Erosion
Dental erosion is an oral condition created by exposure to erosive dietary or gastric acids. It is not to be confused with dental decay as there are significant differences between the two. With dental erosion, the mechanism of tooth wear is typically caused by attrition (grinding) or chemical and physical factors. This condition is vitally relevant to the patient’s health as it may result in pain as well as hypersensitivity from exposed dentin.
Common Reason for Dental Erosions
One of the most common forms of dental erosions is the one caused by tooth brushing with hard bristles. Oral habits at home play a major role in creating dental erosions. Excessive tooth brushing combined with acidic food intake often leads to premature tooth wear and tear. It ultimately results in loss of enamel luster and poor aesthetics. In more involved cases, enamel dissolution occurs, it and may require extensive dental treatments. In addition, brushing immediately before eating removes the protective biofilm that shields the teeth from acid attacks. It is recommended to wait 1-2 hours after brushing before meals to minimize the impact of acid-containing food.
How to Prevent Erosion Process
Many researchers state that the person’s diet is the key component to their health including the oral region. Sugar-sweetened beverages consumed in large quantities significantly increase the formation of caries and help the erosion process. USA consumers in particular are at higher risk in comparison to other parts of the globe. Erosive potential is elevated when oral hygiene at home is lacking. Therefore, adjusting the diet and exercising an immaculate cleaning regimen at home will significantly improve the positive oral flora and prevent premature degeneration of the enamel and dentin.
When gastric acid is involved in the erosion process, the patient may have to be evaluated by their medical provider before any dental treatment can be applied. Regular dental check-ups and prophylactic cleanings will greatly contribute to the patient’s’ overall health and retention of beautiful smiles for a lifetime.