All teeth experience some degree of wear as we age. Your dentist may tell you that your teeth show signs of dental erosion, and it has nothing to do with Maroochy River king tides!
Erosion occurs when enamel is dissolved from tooth surfaces, and the teeth may appear shorter and visibly worn.
Being a wine judge sounds exciting, however, tasting as many as 200 wines a day can lead to severe tooth erosion. You will be relieved to know that moderate social wine drinking usually does not cause damage to teeth!
Excessive acid is linked with the following dietary habits ( soft drinks both diet and regular), sports drinks, fruit juice, lemon juice, cordial, chewable vitamin C tablets, vinegar and pickles, gastric juices ( any cause of frequent vomiting or gastric reflux, morning sickness or bulimia) and of course, being a wine judge.
Dental erosion is very different from decay but can be just as bad for teeth. When a strong acid is frequently present, the mouth’s natural defence system (ie saliva) can no longer deal with the problem and faster erosion occurs. Sometimes erosion exposes the inner layer of the tooth, which usually causes severe sensitivity.
Controlling dental erosion…what to do?
We can control dental erosion by drinking non-acidic alternatives eg water, and milk.
The effect of acidic foods and drinks is reduced when they are eaten with other foods. Try eating a small piece of cheese or drinking water at the end of a meal also helps restore the mouth’s pH to a non-acidic environment.
(on a practical note whenever my children come home after attending a birthday party I give them some cheese to eat and lots of water !)
- Avoid excessive consumption of juice between meals.
- Drink fruit juices and soft drinks through a straw as this causes less damage.
- Don’t brush your teeth straight after eating or drinking acidic foods as this makes the damage worse. Wait 30 minutes before brushing!
- Take vitamin C in tablet form without chewing or sucking.
- Chew sugar-free gum.
- After vomiting or if you have acid reflux, try rinsing with water or milk. Rub toothpaste or a product called tooth mousse (a brilliant product available from your dentist) over your teeth with your finger, however, do not brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes.
Smile by Design
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