Tooth erosion can cause mild dental problems, from tooth discoloration to sensitivity to more severe dental problems, such as indentions in the teeth, severe tooth sensitivity, and even cracked teeth.
Tooth erosion can do severe damage to your teeth, but it can also be prevented. The Academy of General Dentistry offers these tips to prevent tooth erosion:
- After eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages, rinse your mouth with water so that the acid will be neutralized.
- Wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth after consuming acidic foods or beverages to allow the teeth to remineralize after the acid exposure.
- Cut back on carbonated drinks and try replacing them with water, milk or un-sweetened coffee and tea.
- Use a straw when drinking carbonated beverages or other sweet drinks, such as natural fruit juices, which are very acidic. A straw enables the liquid to go quickly to the back of your mouth instead of washing over the teeth.
- Swallow acidic liquids quickly instead of swishing them around or holding them in your mouth.
- Chewing sugar-free gum can help reduce dry mouth and increase the saliva flow, allowing for your teeth to remineralize.
- Always use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride can help to reduce tooth sensitivity.
- Since tooth erosion can occur from several different factors, it’s important to talk with your dentist if you suspect that you might have tooth erosion. Your dentist can also keep you informed of dental products that are designed specifically to help sensitivity caused by tooth erosion.