Tooth & Acid Erosion Symptoms & Signs

Signs of Eroded Teeth

A relatively new problem is becoming apparent in dentistry. This is the ‘wear’ of teeth due to chemical erosion. This often results in sensitivity of the necks of the teeth to cold and sweet things.

Another common area of tooth surface damage in teenagers is the inner surfaces of upper teeth. Chemical erosion results from acid softening the enamel.

If the teeth are brushed with an abrasive toothpaste, the problem is made worse. The result is that the “softened” enamel is often “spat” down the sink! Read our tips to preserve tooth enamel.

Treatments for worn or eroded teeth.

small teeth before and after image

The main types of acid which are dangerous for your teeth are:

  • Citric acid (lemons, grapefruit, oranges)
  • Lactic acid (yoghurt, fromage frais, cottage cheese)
  • Phosphoric acid (Coke, Pepsi, diet Coke, diet Pepsi)
  • Acetic acid (vinegar as in oil and vinegar dressing)
  • Malic acid (apples, grapes)
  • Oxalic acid (rhubarb)

It must be remembered that fresh fruit juices are just as dangerous for teeth as fruit juice mixtures, such as Five Alive. Here are more diet tips for healthy teeth and gums.

Why is this happening now?

Many of these fruits and juices were formerly only available in season. With refrigeration, they are now available all year round and are doing phenomenal damage to teeth.

An exaggerated emphasis on slimming for & health reasons has not helped.

Preventive measures:

  • Limit the number of episodes when acidic foods or drinks are taken. Try to eat all your fruit at one time of the day.
  • DON’T clean your teeth after acidic foods or drinks. If possible, rinse your mouth with milk or a fluoride mouthwash after eating or drinking acidic foods.
  • Drink fruit juices through a wide-bore straw. This helps to get the acid past the teeth and away from the mouth.
  • Try to avoid diet drinks. If you have them, drink them through a wide-bore straw or drink them very quickly to reduce acid contact time.

Note: If tooth surface loss occurs despite no observed dietary causes, we will guide you further. Other causes of tooth damage include medical conditions, such as acid reflux or anorexia, and chronic alcohol intake.

Top tips to prevent erosion.