EH FAQ Accordion
What is enamel?
Tooth enamel is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance of the body, and is one of the four major tissues which make up the tooth. It’s also susceptible to acid and build-up of bacteria. It can dissolve or decay when exposed to these substances.
Enamel’s primary purpose is to protect your teeth from damage.
What is enamel erosion?
Enamel erosion is the irreversible loss of tooth tissue due mainly to exposure to acids found in food and drinks.
What causes enamel erosion?
The main cause of enamel erosion is exposure of the teeth to acids. Acids can be found in some of our most popular everyday foods and drinks. Examples include citrus fruits, apples, pickles, vinegar, sodas (both sweetened and diet), wine and orange juice.
Some signs and effects of enamel erosion include:
Rough, rounded teeth: Your teeth may appear rough, with a rounded look on the edges.
Cracks: Small cracks, and roughness may be visible near the edges.
Cupping: Small dents may appear on the chewing surface of the teeth.
Discoloration: Teeth can have a yellow appearance as the enamel erodes and the yellow dentin shows through.
How can I minimize enamel erosion?
To help prevent dental erosion:
It is recommended you avoid brushing for at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking acidic foods or drinks. Consuming acidic foods and drinks leaves the enamel softened and more prone to erosion through brushing.
Avoid sipping acidic drinks like orange juice, sodas (both sweetened and diet) and wine over long periods of time.
Minimize contact of such drinks with your teeth's surface by drinking them with a straw and not swishing them around in your mouth.
Have regular dental checkups.
Use a medium to soft bristled toothbrush and brush gently.
How prevalent is enamel erosion?
90% of dentists observe signs of enamel erosion in their patients and dentists report that they have seen an increase in enamel erosion. Modern diets with acidic foods and drinks have contributed. Improved oral care and dental treatments has led to a longer life span for teeth, and they are exposed to acids over a longer period of time.