Elmhurst Dentist Reviews the Dangers of Acid Erosion

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Jun 25, 2012

Elmhurst Dentist Reviews the Dangers of Acid Erosion

Our Elmhurst dental office is committed to providing the most up-to-date dental care available to our patients. Recently, we’ve found that many people are asking about the consequences of acid erosion on teeth. As dentists have learned more about the effects of acid erosion, this condition has become better publicized and understood among the general public. Today I’m going to take the time to walk you through how acid erosion progresses, and what can be done to minimize the effects of this harmful condition.

Acid Erosion

Acid erosion is a surprisingly common, and yet under diagnosed condition, in which the teeth are weakened by continual exposure to acidic substances. During the day your dental enamel will become demineralized as it comes into contact with the substances you eat and drink—the acid from these substances degrades the enamel. Luckily, the enamel is usually remineralized by saliva and your daily dental hygiene routine. Patients suffering from acid erosion, however, are not able to sufficiently remineralize teeth. Consequently, patients suffering from dental erosion may find that their teeth are more sensitive than they used to be. Additionally, enamel affected by acid erosion will be more susceptible to infection and decay.

What Causes Acid Erosion?

There are certain foods and drinks that contribute to acid erosion. Common foods such as fruits, and drinks like wine, soft drinks, and fruit juices can erode teeth. Obviously, you don’t want to totally eliminate all acidic substances in your diet—after all, you need fruit for a healthy and balanced diet! So rather than trying to cut out acidic substances, attempt instead to limit how much acid coats your enamel, and limit the amount of time that the substance sits on your teeth.

Here are some simple steps that you can take to minimize your acid exposure:

Use a straw when consuming acidic beverages

When drinking acidic substances, try using a straw, so that the liquid bypasses many of your teeth and goes directly to the back of the mouth. This will prevent your enamel from sitting in acidic liquid.

Rinse your mouth after eating or drinking

After you consume an acidic substance, try to rinse your mouth out with water. The water will cleanse away some of the acid, with the added benefit of increasing saliva production (which, remember neutralizes acid!).

If you notice that your teeth feel more sensitive, weakened, or softened, discuss your concerns with a professional dentist. Your dentist can help you develop a dental hygiene plan that protects your teeth from erosion. Give our Elmhurst dentists a call for more information or to schedule an appointment!