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Feb 23

How to Prevent Tooth Erosion

Posted on February 23, 2012 — by Thomas G. Zarger Jr., D.D.S.

There's one dental problem that has been coming up quite a bit in some circles, and it involves a common dental health concern. And yet, as common as this dental problem is, many people are not aware of it nor do they understand what it entails. I'm speaking of tooth erosion. When you meet with a skilled Knoxville cosmetic dentist, this dental health issue can be discussed in greater length. In the meantime, however, we'd like to examine this matter in basic terms so you understand what is at stake and what you are facing.

About Tooth Erosion

Tooth erosion refers to the steady diminishing of tooth structure as a result of an acidic pH in the mouth. This can lead to tooth discoloration, tooth damage, and weakened teeth over time.

How Tooth Erosion is Different from Tooth Decay

Many people think that tooth erosion and tooth decay are the same thing, but that is definitely not the case. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth whereas tooth erosion is caused by acidity of the mouth. They are somewhat similar, but the distinction in cause is important to consider. When you meet with a skilled cosmetic dentist in Knoxville, the best possible diagnostic techniques will be used to determine which you are facing.

Causes of Tooth Erosion

There are many common substances that can cause teeth to erode. This includes foods and beverages such as:

· Apples

· Citrus fruits and juice

· Coffee

· Cola

· Beer

· Red wine

· Vinegar

In addition, the acidic fluids in the digestive tract can lead to tooth erosion. This explains why people who are bulimic suffer from poor dental health.

Addressing the Tooth Damage Caused by Acid Erosion

There are a number of ways that the tooth damage caused by tooth erosion can be addressed. The most important thing to do is restore tooth structure. Doing so will make your bite stronger, the teeth less brittle, and your smile more appealing. In such cases, Knoxville dental crowns, inlays, and onlays are often ideal.

In cases where the tooth is so damaged by acid erosion it must be extracted, it may be best to use dental implants (implant dentistry) in order to secure dental restorations such as bridges and dentures. These can all be discussed in more detail during your visit.

Prevention of Tooth Erosion

Obviously the best option is preventative care. Be sure to brush your teeth regularly--at least twice a day, but ideally after every meal. Also be sure to floss every night. Another thing to consider is to stay well hydrated and drink a lot of water. This will help with saliva production, and the water can help remove acidic substances from your teeth.

Learn More About Your Options for Expert Dental Care

For more information about tooth erosion and the many things that you can do to prevent it, be sure to contact our Knoxville cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. The entire team is eager to discuss these matters with you in more detail. We look forward to your visit.

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