What is dental erosion?
Tooth erosion is destruction of the tooth surface caused by acid and without the involvement of bacteria. Acids can destroy even the hardest tooth enamel.
It is generally believed that sugar is the teeth's greatest enemy, but this is not always the case. Acids can also cause irreparable damage to teeth over time.
In addition to the well-known dental diseases such as caries and periodontitis, a new disease of the tooth surface that has so far received little attention is increasingly becoming the focus of attention: tooth erosion.
Slight erosions often go unnoticed because they do not cause any problems and are hardly visible. In the advanced stage, the teeth are severely damaged, much of the enamel has been lost, the underlying dentin is exposed, the teeth appear old, discolored and are sensitive.
What are the causes?
Tooth erosion is caused by the acids that affect the teeth either from the outside or from the inside. The bacteria play no role in this process.
Here is a list of acidic sources:
- Fruits, soft drinks, iced tea, fruit juices, sports drinks, wine, yoghurt, sour milk, cucumbers, vinegar, sauerkraut and other sour vegetables
- Stomach acid (in people suffering from reflux and bulimia)
- Certain medications, such as vitamin C supplements and aspirin.
The acids gradually dissolve the minerals in the tooth structure. Lost tooth substance can no longer be restored; the damage is permanent. The erosive properties of the different drinks are very different. For example, apple and orange juice, Sprite and cola are particularly aggressive. Lemonade softens the surface of the enamel after just half a minute to two minutes. The descaling process extends over a more or less long time. Various factors affect the speed:
- Frequency of Acid Intake: Consuming acids only during meals will cause the damage to progress less quickly than consuming acidic drinks and foods throughout the day.
- Destructive power of acid: Light or strong acid. Anything with a pH below 7 is acidic. The lower the pH value, the more destructive it is.
- residence time in the mouth
- Amount of Saliva Production: The more saliva produced, the faster the acids are flushed away.
- Buffering capacity of saliva: Saliva contains bicarbonate, which can neutralize acids. However, the concentration of bicarbonate in the saliva is not the same for everyone.
How to avoid erosion?
What has been lost can no longer be repaired, but there are ways to counteract tooth erosion.
- Pay attention to a healthy and balanced diet. You can continue to consume fruit juices, fruits and acidic foods, but you should definitely pay attention to the frequency and the daily distribution. If possible, one should reduce the consumption of acids to the main meals. Eat a large amount of fruit once a day instead of dividing the same amount into many small portions throughout the day.
- If acidic foods are consumed, try to neutralize the acids as soon as possible by rinsing your mouth with water, drinking some milk or eating cheese.
- When you are out and about, it is advisable to eat tooth-friendly or acid-neutralizing chewing gum or sweets, as they stimulate the flow of saliva and raise the pH value more quickly. Tooth-friendly chewing gum and sweets have been awarded the "Tooth Man". They do not cause tooth decay or erosion.
- After eating acidic foods, wait at least half an hour, preferably 45 minutes, before brushing your teeth to give the enamel a chance to re-stabilize.
- Rinse your mouth with water or a fluoridated rinsing solution after drinking acid. the SNOW SHINE Whitening Foam from SNOW PEARL can be the perfect solution for on the go because you can use it like normal toothpaste. It is also ideal for rinsing the mouth, neutralizing acids and remineralizing teeth, as it contains fluoride and nanoparticles of hydroxyapatite (the building block of enamel).
- Be sure to use a soft toothbrush when brushing your teeth so as not to cause additional damage to the already softened tooth surface. These are particularly good here travel toothbrushes and the Ultra Soft sonic toothbrush from SNOW PEARL, because they are ultra soft and still have very stable bristles.
- Use a mildly or moderately abrasive fluoride toothpaste. the PEARL SHIELD gel toothpaste from SNOW PEARL is the perfect help, especially for the last daily cleaning in the evening: its new formulation allows the fluoride to adhere to the teeth for more than 12 hours. This strengthens the remineralizing effect and also significantly reduces tooth sensitivity.
- Do not do without products containing fluoride, as fluoride increases the resistance of tooth enamel to acids by a factor of 10.