There are plenty of different dental problems that our team treats on a regular basis. Some of them our patients have a generally good understanding about, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Others patients don’t have as good a handle on. That’s especially true of tooth erosion, which many patients think is the same thing as tooth decay. They’re actually quite different even if they are treated in a similar fashion.
When you visit a Denver cosmetic dentist for a consultation, you’ll be able to learn more about these matters in greater detail. For the time being we’d like to look at the basics of tooth erosion so that you have a basic grasp of this dental problem.
About Tooth Erosion
Tooth erosion refers to the gradual wearing away of tooth structure. This can occur to the outer enamel layer of the teeth or the interior dentin layer. When you stop by for a visit, a dentist serving Denver will be sure to monitor for sings of tooth erosion.
Causes of Tooth Erosion
Tooth erosion is caused by an acidic pH in the mouth. There are many different substances that can cause an acidic pH in the mouth, including:
- Carbonated soft drinks
- Red wine
- Fruit juices (especially citrus)
- Soy sauce
- Gastric fluid/bile
The Different Between Tooth Erosion and Tooth Decay
As noted above, tooth erosion is caused by an acidic pH in the mouth. By contrast, tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth feeding on food particles, thus producing plaque. Plaque is a harmful substance that can wear away at the structure of the teeth.
While the causes of tooth erosion and tooth decay differ, they can both be treated through effective general dental care.
Aesthetic Flaws Associated with Tooth Erosion
The most notable aesthetic problem related to tooth erosion is the jagged and imperfect shape of the teeth as they are being worn down. This can also cause the teeth to become stained and discolored in the process.
Dental Health Problems Associated with Tooth Erosion
The primary dental health issue that tooth erosion causes is the weakening of a tooth due to compromised structure. When the structure of a tooth is seriously compromised, it can lead to pain, fractures, and breaks in the tooth. Only undergoing restorative dentistry treatment can help patients achieve a healthy smile again.
Treating the Effects of Tooth Erosion
Treating the adverse effects of tooth erosion means using the latest in aesthetic and rehabilitative dental care techniques. To treat varying levels of erosion, dental fillings, inlays, onlays, and Denver dental crowns may be considered. If a tooth is too severely damaged to be saved, tooth extraction may be the only solution, in which case we can recommend several options for replacing a missing tooth.
Ways to Prevent Tooth Erosion
One of the best ways to prevent tooth erosion is to use moderation when dealing with any of the acidic substances listed above. (It should be noted that in the cases of gastric fluid and bile, these are often signs of people who may suffer from bulimia or who drink in excess leading to many bouts of vomiting. In either case, these people should seek professional assistance.)
We also recommend that patients brush their teeth at least twice a day to help remove any potentially acidic substances from the mouth. Drinking water can also go a long way toward preventing dental erosion since water helps cleanse the mouth and establish a more basic pH.
Learn More About Advanced Dental Care Treatments
For more information about tooth erosion and other important dental health matters, be sure to contact our Denver cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you make good decisions about your dental health and overall well-being.