Acid erosion is an oral health care problem that occurs when acid of a non-bacterial origin damages a patient's teeth. Extrinsic acid erosion is when acids from outside the body – such as the acids from wine and soft drinks – damage the teeth. Intrinsic acid erosion pertains to teeth being corroded by acidic body fluids like gastric acid. Acid erosion gradually distorts the teeth and can dramatically reduce the effectiveness of dental work such as fillings and veneers.
Acid Erosion's Effects on the Mouth
Acid erosion changes the color of the teeth. The first change is to the incisors, whose cutting edges become transparent. As acid erosion progresses, the affected teeth turn yellow due to the white enamel being removed. Acid erosion also changes the shape of the affected teeth, leaving signs of wear as well as pronounced gaps between teeth. Acid erosion can also warp and distort amalgam fillings. Teeth that continue to be corroded by acid will eventually crack.
Preventing Acid Erosion
Patients afflicted with intrinsic acid erosion should schedule an appointment with their primary care provider. Diagnosing and treating the problem that sends acidic fluids to the mouth could either reduce or stop the damage. Patients should also discuss their medications and over-the-counter supplements with their primary care provider as certain treatments can lead to acid erosion. Patients dealing with extrinsic acid erosion should eliminate as many acidic foods and drinks from their diet as possible. Our team urges our patients to add either calcium-rich foods or foods that stimulate the generation of saliva – a natural anti-acidic fluid – to their diets. Our team urges our patients to brush softly with a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent compounding the damage done by acid erosion. And rinses that contain fluoride will fortify teeth's enamel.
If you suspect that your teeth and mouth are suffering from acid erosion, call our office for a consultation and an exam. We would love to help.