What is Enamel Erosion?
Tooth enamel is the hard, outer surface of the teeth. Although it’s harder than any other substance in the body, it can gradually wear away, or erode, and expose the softer dentine beneath. This enamel loss may lead to tooth sensitivity. There are several reasons behind why tooth enamel wear occurs, from the way you brush your teeth to your food and drink choices.
What Causes Enamel Loss?
Here we look at the most common causes of tooth enamel wear:
- Brushing too hard – If you brush too frequently and too hard, eventually it can lead to loss of enamel and you can also develop receding gums.
- Acid erosion of teeth¹ – This is caused by the acids contained in many everyday foods and drinks, such as fizzy drinks, fruit, fruit juice and wine. When acidic food or drink comes into contact with teeth, it can temporarily soften the outermost layer of hard enamel. If you brush your teeth straight after consuming acidic food and drink, this softened layer of enamel can be more easily removed. If this happens frequently it can lead to tooth enamel wear.
What To Do If Your Enamel Is Eroding
If you are concerned about tooth enamel wear and loss you should discuss it with your dentist to get advice on how to manage tooth enamel erosion and any resulting tooth sensitivity.
In the meantime, here are a few suggestions and steps you can take to help with enamel erosion:²
- Use a specialist toothpaste that helps prevent enamel wear to help limit enamel erosion, such as Pronamel Multi-Action, which helps minerals in its formulation to penetrate deep into the enamel surface, actively strengthening weakened enamel, making it stronger, healthier and better protected against the effects of everyday acids.
- Cut down on the amount of acidic food and drink, particularly fizzy drinks; reduce the amount and frequency throughout the day.
- Wait for at least an hour after consuming acidic food and drink before brushing your teeth. Acidic food and drink can temporarily soften enamel, but if you wait a while before brushing, your saliva is a buffer and neutralizes the acid effects, helping to prevent enamel loss when you brush your teeth.
- Don’t brush too hard. Use a soft-bristled brush, like the Pronamel Toothbrush, which is designed to protect tooth enamel.
Sticking to a good oral health routine, including regular visits to your dentist, is the best way to protect against acid erosion on teeth and tooth sensitivity.
¹Tooth Enamel Erosion: What Is It? | Sensodyne Pronamel. 2018. Tooth Enamel Erosion: What Is It? | Sensodyne Pronamel. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.sensodyne.co.uk/about-enamel-wear/acid-erosion.html. [Accessed 14 February 2018].
²Oral Health Foundation. 2018. Sensitive Teeth. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/sundry/sensitive-teeth. [Accessed 09 March 2018].