What Causes Enamel Erosion?
Enamel erosion occurs when acids wear away the hard, outer layer of your teeth. Your saliva works to neutralize any acids in your mouth, but specific diets, oral hygiene habits, and medical conditions can make it hard for your saliva to keep up. The foods and beverages you consume tend to be the main culprit of this acid production. These include:
- Sugary foods (like candy or fruit juice)
- Starchy foods (like bread or potatoes)
- Acidic foods (like soda or citrus fruits)
A diet high in these foods combined with poor oral hygiene can put your enamel at risk. Other causes for tooth erosion include:
- Teeth grinding or bruxism
- Chronic acid reflux
- Low salivary flow or xerostomia
- Medications (like aspirin)
- Eating disorders (like bulimia)
Because enamel plays an essential role in protecting the inner, living parts of your teeth, erosion can lead to cavities, sensitivity, and infection. Eroded teeth often appear discolored, cracked, chipped, or indented. They also become sensitive to tastes and temperatures.