Here’s a tip we do NOT want you to follow:
- Start the day with a glass of lemon juice!
Even better, put the juice into some warm water. You might be surprised how many people do this and I can’t argue fresh vitamin C isn’t good for you. BUT it’s absolutely terrible for your teeth!
The below images are examples of teeth that have been affected by acid in food and drink (and lemon juice):
What causes acid erosion?
Things we eat and drink, or, acid from our stomach (called gastric reflux). Here’s a food and drinks chart highlighting the level of acid that can affect tooth enamel:
Anything at all with small bubbles is acidic; even Soda Stream make-at-home mineral water (even if it’s sugar-free).
Other common sources are salad dressings, wine, particularly white wine and citrus fruits.
What is Dental Erosion?
Dental erosion happens when acids dissolve enamel and dentine in a tooth. The acid softens the teeth, so if you brush immediately after something acidic (morning OJ for example) you’ll wear away your tooth rapidly. If you have a habit of clenching or grinding, you will wear away your tooth much more quickly if they are affected by acid erosion.
Symptoms of Tooth Erosion
I see people who have unbearable sensitivity but no tooth decay, and sometimes tiny cavities. My first question is, “Any lemon juice?”. It’s really surprising how common it is for people to use lemon juice!
As I said, anything that has an element of acid can cause erosion, sensitivity and deeper problems in teeth.
How can you prevent Dental Erosion?
- Eat a healthy well balanced diet
- Drink fluoridated water rather than acidic soft drinks or juices
- Seek medical treatment to reduce acid reflux
- Try not to chew vitamin C tablets, try to swallow them whole
- Stimulate your salvia by using sugar free chewing gums
- Use a soft tissue brush to prevent abrading tooth enamel
- Make sure that if you do enjoy something acidic, the last drink you have is plain water.
How can you treat Dental Erosion?
The first step is, prevent it (see above).
But suppose you have sensitive teeth, and you aren’t sure why? I recommend a 7-day Bland Diet; absolutely no bubbly or acidic liquids or foods—just for seven days. At the end of that time, if you still have sensitivity, it’s time for a more thorough investigation.
There are also several toothpastes for desensitising teeth (we can recommend the best ones and how to use them) and, more advanced solutions that target advanced erosion.
In extreme cases, we can also restore these areas:
If you have any questions about tooth erosion or improving your tooth sensitivity, OR if you would like to make any appointment, please contact the team at Moss Vale Dental on (02) 4869 3111 or request an appointment online.