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Dental Erosion

Dental erosion is the loss of tooth enamel and other tooth structure from frequent exposure to strong acids. The most common causes are:

  • Acid drinks and foods
  • Some medications
  • Stomach acid that regurgitates into the mouth.

When tooth enamel is increasingly eroded, and the dentine and pulp become exposed pain and sensitivity are common symptoms.

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Common acid sources and risk factors

  • Frequent intake of acidic foods and drinks such as carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, red and white wine, fruit juices, cordials, citrus fruit, vinegar based foods such as salad dressings and pickled foods.
  • Acidic medications such as chewable vitamin C, some cough syrups, and some antiseptic mouth washes also some Asthma drugs.
  • Dry mouth, which can be caused by various factors, including smoking, medical treatments – such as blood pressure, mood altering drugs and chemotherapy.
  • Chronic dehydration

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Care for your teeth

  • Immediately after consuming an acidic food or drink, rinse your mouth with water.
  • Drink more tap water throughout the day, especially between meals.
  • Drink acidic drinks through a straw.
  • Delay tooth brushing for at least 30 minutes after acid exposure to allow saliva to help stabilize the mouth.
  • Brush teeth at least twice daily using a soft toothbrush and a non-abrasive fluoridated toothpaste.

The key to erosion is catching the issue early before it causes extensive damage to your teeth.  Identifying what is causing the teeth to erode away and whether there are other things making it worse e.g. heavy brushing or teeth grinding.

If your erosion is fairly mild, it may only require a preventative regime and regular dental visits to monitor the erosion.

As erosion progresses, it may be necessary to restore or fill up the teeth to replace the tooth structure that has been eroded away.  In some cases where a lot of tooth structure has been eroded away, we may need to rebuild the whole mouth with caps or crowns.

If you are concerned that you may have dental erosion, it is best to speak to your dental professional for further advice.

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Dental erosion and wear on biting surfaces
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Medium term build up of Erosion with White Fillings

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DR HENRY WONG

Dr Henry Wong is a local dental graduate, having done his studies at the University of Queensland. He has had over 10 years of practical experience, providing a wide range of services in the various fields of dentistry. He has a strong interest in Orthodontics (braces) and has an affinity treating young patients. Henry regularly attends a range of continuing education courses, and is very much up to date with his continuing professional development requirements.   Dr Henry is a long term member of the ADA (Australian Dental Association). He has also been involved with RAWCS (Rotary Australia World Community Service), in a charity project that provides much needed dental treatment to villages in Nepal. He has also provided volunteer work in Brisbane through the National Dental Foundation.   Dr Henry enjoys spending time with his family and young daughter. They are often the reluctant subjects one of his other interests; photography. He likes to unwind by listening to comedy podcasts and tending to his growing collection of indoor plants.