Acid erosion is a common problem that Dr. Fiss sees in his new patients. Many foods and drinks we consume are acidic in nature and erode tooth enamel. While you may not be able to see the effects of acid erosion, you could be experiencing it if your teeth are weak, thin, transparent, yellow, or dull. This can get worse over time, causing your teeth to lose their protective enamel and expose the dentine layer. To help protect your teeth, here’s what you need to know about acid erosion.
Common Causes of Acid Erosion
The most common causes of acid erosion are in your diet, and as few as four acidic foods or drinks each day can put your teeth at risk of acid wear. Here are some common culprits:
- Fruit juices
- Salad dressings
Titratable Acid and pH
Foods or drinks with a pH balance of 5.3 or lower can dissolve tooth enamel, and a pH of 6.7 or lower can dissolve dentin. Even more important is the total acid level (Titratable Acid, or TA), which determines how much H+ can interact with your teeth’s surfaces. While most foods with a high pH also have a high TA, this is not always the case. For example, an apple’s pH is 5.47 but its TA is 0.37, which means it is easily neutralized by saliva before it can harm your teeth. Some foods may even have a lower pH but a higher TA.
Recognizing the Signs
If your teeth are weak, thin, transparent, yellow, or dull, they could be victims of acid erosion. Additional signs include transparent incisors, loss of surface texture, and cupping on the molars. To avoid acid erosion, take steps to protect your teeth now.
Protecting Your Teeth
One of the best ways to protect your teeth is to schedule regular comprehensive dental exams with Dr. Benjamin Fiss. He will assess your teeth, review any symptoms, conduct a careful exam for cancer or gum disease, and discuss with you the best dental care for your situation. You can also help to neutralize the effects of acid erosion by adopting good habits. After eating acidic foods, consume milk, cheese, or another basic food/drink to reduce the potential for erosion. Additionally, do not brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after consuming something acidic; otherwise, you could scratch your softened enamel and exacerbate the problem. Brush and floss regularly, and use enamel-strengthening toothpaste.
What to Do if the Enamel Is Already Gone
If you have passed the point where these solutions can help you, Dr. Fiss can provide porcelain veneers for your teeth. These will protect them against further damage and provide cosmetic appeal to enhance your smile.
For more information on how to protect your teeth against acid erosion or other harmful effects, schedule a consultation with Dr. Benjamin Fiss in Chicago today for reconstructive or cosmetic dentistry. Book an appointment by calling 312.951.5230, or fill out our contact form online.