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Erosion is the loss of tooth enamel caused by an acid attack.
The acid attacks the enamel which is the hard protective coating of the tooth that protects the sensitive dentine underneath. If the dentine is exposed, it can lead to pain and sensitivity. Teeth may also become translucent or see through, especially at the edges, due to the loss of enamel. You may also feel that your teeth are becoming more yellow and that’s because losing the white enamel makes the darker dentine more visible.
- Acidic food and drinks including carbonated/fizzy drinks
- Citrus foods such as oranges
- Dry mouth whether due to medications or disease
- Pregnancy i.e. morning sickness
- Acid reflux
How to stop erosion;
- Limit acidic/sugary drinks. Water is best for teeth
- Drink with a straw to minimise acid contact with teeth
- Milk or cheese after a meal helps to neutralise acid
- Sugar free gum encourages saliva production and will therefore wash the harmful acid away
- Don’t graze ie. limit snacks to meal times.
- If you are suffering from morning sickness, rinse your mouth out with water and leave at least 30minutes between being sick and brushing your teeth. This allows the softened enamel to harden otherwise you will simply be removing it when brushing.
If advanced, you may need the missing tooth tissue replaced with tooth coloured fillings or if very severe, by crowns.