Tooth erosion can lead to a number of dental problems like tooth discoloration and decay. If left untreated, tooth erosion can even lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, tooth erosion is preventable and if you have already experienced tooth erosion, it can be treated. Bethesda cosmetic dentist Victor S. Siegel offers a variety of restorative dentistry treatments to erase the damage caused by tooth erosion. The following are some tips to help prevent tooth erosion along with some of the treatments offered by Dr. Siegel to correct tooth erosion damage.
Preventing Tooth Erosion
Tooth erosion is the wearing away of the tooth's enamel, the hard, protective outer layer of the tooth. This may be caused by such things as plaque, consuming acidic foods and drinks, and teeth grinding. Once enamel is eroded, it will not grow back. Avoiding tooth erosion or treating existing erosion is important to dental health as the enamel protects the more delicate inner layers of the teeth like the dentin layer which leads to the tooth's nerve. The dentin layer needs the protection of the enamel as it is full of small tubules which lead to the tooth's nerve. As the enamel erodes and the dentin is exposed, the tooth's nerves are also exposed which can lead to pain and infection. When it comes to tooth erosion, prevention is key. You can prevent tooth erosion by knowing the underlying causes and practicing these tips:
- Practice proper oral hygiene to reduce plaque: Plaque is a major cause of tooth erosion and decay. The number one way to prevent plaque from damaging the teeth is to brush and floss regularly. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day for a full two minutes and floss between each tooth at least once per day. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are imperative to maintaining a healthy smile and preventing tooth erosion.
- Avoid consuming acidic, sugary foods and drinks: Foods and drinks high in acidity and sugar can erode the enamel. If you must consume foods and drinks high in acidity or sugar, be sure to drink water afterwards to help wash away sugars and acids. Drinking water can also help to remove food remnants from the teeth and neutralize acids.Drinking sodas or citrus juice with a straw can also help reduce acid contact with the teeth and reduce the risk of tooth erosion.
- Seek treatment for gastrointestinal problems: Gastrointestinal problems like acid reflux can expose the teeth to harmful stomach acid leading to tooth erosion. If you suffer from gastrointestinal problems, seek treatment to improve your overall health but also to protect your teeth from damage.
Treatments for Tooth Erosion
Treatments for tooth erosion vary based on the extent of damage. Those with minor tooth erosion may benefit from porcelain veneers while others with more severe damage may need a full dental crown. Treatments for tooth erosion include:
- Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers can be used to restore minor enamel damage.
- Porcelain crowns: Porcelain crowns may be necessary when tooth erosion has resulted in large cavities or dental fractures.
- Tooth-colored fillings: Tooth-colored fillings are useful for repairing cavities.
- Dental implants: In severe cases of tooth erosion, a full tooth may be so damaged as to require extraction or may fall out on its own. Dental implants can be paired with different dental restoration to replace individual or multiple teeth.
These are just a sampling of restorative dental treatments for tooth erosion. To find out your treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Siegel.