We are always striving to be the best we can be, and a lot of that comes down to the food we eat to stay physically healthy. While a lot of the food we are told to eat daily will help keep a body fine-tuned, it can also surprisingly have a negative effect on your teeth. Dental erosion is often caused by the foods and drinks we consume, and this can lead to further dental complications. This doesn’t mean you should avoid them, but instead know how to manage so you can live healthily with healthy teeth too.
What is Dental Erosion?
Dental erosion is when the enamel on your teeth starts to wear down. When it wears down too much, it can lead to tooth sensitivity, pain, and other issues. The culprit is mainly acidic foods and drinks. We are consuming these acidic foods without even realising the damage it is causing.
What Should We Be Aware Of?
One of the culprits is lemon water. Lemon water is a great, refreshing drink that has so many great health benefits, yet the lemon is very acidic. Sipping on lemon water throughout the day continuously coats the teeth with this acid that will wear down the enamel. The same goes for other citrus fruits. This means that fruit juices can also have the same effect.
Like wine? Wine is high in acidity and will soften tooth enamel. Fizzy drinks and coffee are also huge perpetrators in causing dental erosion.
What Are the Symptoms of Dental Erosion?
When the enamel starts to wear down, the canals where nerves are become exposed, causing tooth sensitivity. You can feel pain when you eat or drink anything very cold or very hot. Another sign is tooth discolouration. Dentin will become exposed when enamel in worn away. This is a yellow colour.
The shape of your teeth can also change. They can become more rounded and transparent on the edges. In extreme cases, small cracks can appear as well as small dents in teeth that allow fillings to become exposed.
What Can Be Done to Help?
There is no reason to avoid these foods altogether. There are steps you can take to keep the acidity on your teeth at a minimum.
Try to limit your acidic foods and drinks to mealtimes. It reduces the amount of contact with the teeth’s surface and neutralise the acid. Chewing also stimulates the production of saliva which can also help buffer out acid. Follow with a drink of water to help remove any lingering acids in the mouth.
Chewing sugar-free gum will also get the saliva glands going and help reduce the effect of acid and dental erosion. It will be handy to keep a pack on you to use after meals.
Try to say no to fizzy drinks and replace with water, milk or even a milky tea. Of course, everything in moderation though so if you do have a carbonated drink or something like lemon water or a fruit juice, then try to use a straw. This reduces the chance of it touching your teeth.
Wait before you brush your teeth after eating! You would think you should brush your teeth right after, but it helps to wait. The acidity will soften the enamel so giving those teeth a scrub right after will cause more damage. Rinse with water and bicarb soda first and go back later to brush.
If you think that your teeth may already be experiencing dental erosion, then you shouldn’t wait. It can lead to further complications if left untreated. If you suspect dental erosion, contact JC Dental for a consultation.