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What is Dental Erosion and What Can Be Done About It?

Our teeth become subject to a wide range of substances throughout our lives. The hardened enamel shell protects against these elements; however, over time and prolonged exposure to certain chemicals, they can become damaged and require a trip to your local dentist. Like those found in sugary soda, the continued exposure to these acidic substances can lead to dental erosion and cause extensive damage to your enamel. Knowing some of the common causes of dental erosion, the signs to look out for, and steps you can take to limit and stop the damage is critical for your ongoing oral health. 

Common Causes of Dental Erosion

Tooth enamel is one of the toughest substances in our bodies; however, there are foods and drinks out there that, if consumed regularly, can cause damage to our enamel. Acidic liquids such as soda, energy drinks, most fruit juices, and the like have a chemical reaction with our enamel, leading to dental erosion. In addition to acidic liquids, eating citrus fruits can also lead to damage to tooth enamel. Check ingredient lists on drinks and certain foods to check for added acids that might help enhance flavor but can cause damage to your teeth. 

Another common cause of dental erosion centers around exposure to stomach acid due to vomiting. No matter the cause of the vomiting episode, the stomach acid that comes up can cause extensive damage to our enamel. There are steps you can take immediately following the vomiting that can help counter and mitigate any damage. 

How To Counter Dental Erosion

While the fact remains that we cannot replace damaged or lost tooth enamel, there are still steps we can take to counter dental erosion. We can help protect and strengthen the enamel that we have left. Instead of reaching for the sugary soft drinks during a meal, choose water or milk as an alternative. Try to limit the amount of acidic food and beverages in your diet so you can reduce the amount of acidic elements your enamel is exposed to over time. 

In the event of vomiting, rinse your mouth out afterward with water or milk as soon as you can. We also recommend waiting at least an hour to brush your teeth after vomiting. You want to give your mouth time to be thoroughly purged of the acidic substances before you start brushing. 

Even though the enamel cannot be replaced after it is damaged, we can still take steps and practices to help protect your teeth from dental erosion. If you are in the Burlington County, NJ area, you can get dental sealants to provide an additional layer of protection thanks to Hamilton Dental. If you are looking for a team that can help counter dental erosion, or if you need a practice that can align your teeth in Middlesex County, NJ, contact our team to set up your next appointment today!