The acidic deterioration of dental enamel is referred to as tooth erosion. The outside of the tooth is covered and shielded by a hard material called enamel. It is also the toughest material in the body but can degrade when oral health is not taken care of properly. The signs of tooth erosion can be as mild as sensitivity to heat and cold to more severe issues like cracking and rounded teeth. Dental erosion is a gradual and permanent loss of the mineralised tooth material. Thus, its prevention should be our goal so that it does not happen at all. Daily brushing and flossing should be practised, along with taking care of lifestyle and dietary habits.
Signs Of Tooth Erosion
Here are some signs of tooth erosion everyone should know.
During tooth erosion, the layer beneath the enamel gets exposed. Since the dentin's natural appearance is yellow, when the enamel is eroded, and the dentin is exposed, the teeth tend to look discoloured. The more the dentin gets exposed, the more teeth would appear discoloured.
Also Read: Can Braces Cause Teeth Staining, Dentist Answers
Teeth sensitivity is one of the common symptoms of tooth erosion. This happens because, in tooth erosion, the degradation of enamel is involved. It is the enamel that protects teeth from wearing away from germ and acid attacks. But when the enamel is eroded, the dentin, which is less hard, more sensitive, and prone to decay than the enamel, gets exposed. In this condition, when you eat or drink something very cold, you experience sensitivity. This sensitivity can reach extreme stages that might give you throbbing pain in the mouth and jaw.
Rounded teeth are one of the early signs of tooth erosion. In this, The sharper edges of teeth, including canines and incisors, will also seem rounded. This happens because the enamel wears away across the areas of the tooth that frequently come into contact with food the most. The ridges of the enamel wear away, leaving a flatter or more rounded surface of the teeth.
Also Read: Crooked Teeth: How They Influence Your Oral Health
The teeth's edges may begin to break and feel rough if tooth erosion progresses to an advanced phase. In such cases, plaque-causing bacteria and acids will permeate the tooth, causing oral health issues ranging from cavities. If not treated, this may lead to severe decay, needing a tooth extraction, root canal therapy, or other dental restorations like caps or crowns.
Prevention Of Tooth Erosion
Dental erosion is a gradual and permanent loss of the mineralised tooth material, and therefore management and prevention should be our main goals. The most important habit is to maintain good oral hygiene by daily brushing and flossing. You should also beware of your lifestyle habits, including what you eat and drink. Give up habits like smoking and alcohol. Have a diet which is healthy for your teeth, like green leafy vegetables and dairy products. Avoid acidic drinks as they tend to erode the enamel. If you have already suffered prominent teeth erosion, make sure to visit your dentist for restoration and prevent the further spread of it.
Image Credits: freepik