Causes of Tooth Erosion
What is dental erosion?
Dental erosion (tooth erosion) is the irreversible loss of tooth enamel due to chemical processes that do not involve bacterial action.
What is tooth enamel?
Tooth enamel is a mineralized hard tissue that covers and protects the tooth. It is the hardest tissue of human body but it can be chemically dissolved in an acidic environment.
What causes tooth enamel erosion?
Acids are the one among the main causes of tooth erosion. Tooth erosion is a slow progressive process that leads to the loss of the protective hard tissues of the tooth caused by exposure to acids for long periods of time. The acids that cause dental erosion may come from intrinsic (e.g., gastroesophageal reflux, vomiting) or extrinsic sources (e.g., acidic beverages, citrus fruits).
And enamel loss has a direct correlation to sensitivity in teeth – people with less enamel complained of much greater sensitivity in their teeth to hot and cold. Rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash containing excess of acid leads to a drastic increase in enamel loss.
Natural repair of enamel
If the tooth is exposed to acidic environment, the tooth enamel starts to lose minerals by a process called de-mineralization. Saliva gradually neutralises the acidic content in the mouth and restores the natural balance. When the tooth’s environment becomes non-acidic the reverse process of re-mineralization begins. This natural tooth enamel restoration process repairs the enamel using minerals such as calcium from saliva and fluoride from toothpastes. If the two processes are balanced any damage to the tooth enamel is totally repaired.
Treatment for tooth erosion
If the cause of the dental erosion is the consumption of acidic foods or drinks, patient education may solve the problem. If the problem is caused by medical condition as GERD the patient must consult a medical doctor for the appropriate treatment.