Tooth Enamel Erosion and Restoration
How do you prevent enamel loss?
To prevent enamel loss and keep teeth healthy, be sure to brush and floss teeth daily. See your dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleaning. You can also try the following:
- Eliminate highly acidic foods and drinks from your diet such as carbonated sodas, lemons, and other citrus fruits and juices. Rinse your mouth immediately with clear water after eating acidic foods or drinking acidic drinks.
- Use a straw when you drink acidic drinks. The straw pushes the liquid to the back of your mouth, avoiding your teeth.
- Monitor snacks. Snacking throughout the day increases the chance of tooth decay. The mouth is acidic for a few hours after eating foods high in sugar and starches. Avoid snacking unless you're able to rinse your mouth and brush teeth.
- Chew sugar-free gum between meals. Chewing gum boosts saliva production up to 10 times the normal flow. Saliva helps strengthen teeth with important minerals. Be sure to select sugar-free gum with xylitol, which is shown to reduce acids in beverages and foods.
- Drink more water throughout the day if you have low saliva volume or dry mouth.
- Use fluoridetoothpaste. Fluoride strengthens teeth, so make sure fluoride is listed as an ingredient in your toothpaste.
- Talk to your dentist about daily fluoride mouthwash if you have a history of cavities. In addition, ask your dentist if sealants may be helpful in preventing enamel erosion and tooth decay.
Can you get too much fluoride?
Yes, it is possible to get too much fluoride. While fluoride is useful in preventing tooth decay, too much fluoride can cause problems like enamel fluorosis. This condition can occur in children and causes defects in the enamel of the teeth.
Children with enamel fluorosis may have ingested too much fluoride through supplements, or they took fluoride supplements in addition to drinking fluoridated water. Also, swallowing fluoride toothpaste increases the chances of enamel fluorosis.
Most children with enamel fluorosis have mild conditions that are not a reason for concern. Yet in some severe cases, the teeth are discolored, pitted, and difficult to keep clean.
How is tooth enamel loss treated?
Treatment of tooth enamel loss depends on the problem. Sometimes tooth bonding is used to protect the tooth and increase cosmetic appearance.
If the enamel loss is significant, the dentist may recommend covering the tooth with a crown. The crown may protect the tooth from further decay.