“Mouth is a mirror to our body”. Any systemic disease has an implication in the oral cavity, which can be easily identified by regular dental checkups. Therefore, Dental hygiene is something that should not be ignored. Every part of our mouth is very delicate and needs to be handled gently. Tooth is a layered structure where Enamel forms the outer layer of our teeth, followed by Dentin and the interior most part being the pulp which contains all the blood vessels and nerves. Enamel, being the hardest substance in the human body, helps in protecting the tooth against physical and chemical damage. Tooth wear can be broadly classified as Attrition, Abrasion and Erosion. Erosion is the loss of dental hard tissues by chemical action not involving bacteria. Onlymyhealth editorial team talked to Dr. Ridhima Dhamija, Consultant, Prosthodontist, Paras Hospital, Gurugram about tooth enamel erosion. Read on to know about the causes, symptoms and treatment for enamel damage.
Tooth erosion symptoms
One should primarily be able to notice the signs of tooth enamel damage. These complications can only be avoided if you take care of your teeth. Some symptoms of tooth enamel erosion are:
- Stained teeth
- Tooth decay
- Cracks in teeth
Tooth Erosion causes
The most common cause of enamel erosion is the acids and chemicals in the foods and liquids you consume. Although, the saliva constantly neutralizes acid in your mouth to protect your teeth. But having too much acidic food and not taking proper care of your teeth can damage the outer layer, resulting in poor dental care. There are other factors also that can make the enamel weak. The major causes are:
- Low saliva flow rate (xerostomia)
- Regular intake of certain medications that can cause xerostomia
- Sugar fruit drinks,soft drinks and diet high in starches
- Acid reflux disease
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Genetics (hereditary causes)
- Eating disorders (like anorexia, bulimia nervosa)
- Frequent vomitings like during pregnanc
Treatment of tooth erosion
Since tooth enamel cannot be regrown, it is best to take steps to avoid the whole process of tooth wear. According to Dr. Ridhima Dhamija, here are some tips to prevent enamel erosion:
- Brush your teeth atleast twice a day using fluoridated toothpaste to ensure good dental care.
- In case of gastrointestinal diseases and high acid quantities in the stomach, treatment of the acidity is of utmost importance. Frequent mouth rinsing can do a lot to reduce the acid attacking the teeth from the stomach.
- To remove plaque and bacteria between your teeth, Floss at least once a day.
Also Read: Four Amazing Tooth Friendly Foods
- Eliminate highly acidic food and drinks from your diet. Sugar-free (xylitol) chewing gums can boost the salivary flow
- Increase the consumption and frequency of drinking water (can help treat xerostomia)
- Visit your dentist regularly to be aware of the dental problems at early stages.
These were the major symptoms, causes and treatment to treat Enamel erosion. There's still time to take care of your oral hygiene and avoid the whole risk of enamel erosion by making some changes. Even if you take safety measures for prevention at home, it is important to visit your dentist for dental check-up.
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