Tooth Erosion

Tooth erosion occurs when there is a loss or damage to the outer layer(enamel) of the tooth.  The second layer, dentin, is softer and susceptible to develop decay.

Causes of tooth erosion:

Acid erosion is the most common cause of tooth erosion due to frequent and prolongs exposure the tooth to the acid environment.

Here are some behaviors and conditions that initiate tooth erosion:
  1. Frequently consume acidic foods e.g., orange, lemon, tomato, etc

  2. High consumption and prolong consumption of carbonated drinks, energy drinks (sports drinks), alcoholic beverage. These drinks have the high level of citric acid

  3. High consumption of fruit juice (lemon, orange, grapefruit), tea, wine

  4. Eat/chew sour candies

  5. Using illegal drugs such as methamphetamine and crack cocaine 

  6. Have acid reflux condition

  7. Have eating disorder-Bulimia

  8. Have dry mouth that causes acid to attach to the tooth surface longer

  9. Bruxism - grinding teeth, clenching teeth during stress or sleep
How to minimized the risk of tooth erosion from acid?
  • Limit or stop the intake of the acidic drinks and foods between meals

  • If necessary, use a straw when drink acidic liquid, position the straw at the back of the mouth to avoid contact between the teeth and the liquid

  • Rinse the mouth with water immediately after consuming acidic foods or liquid.  Avoid brushing for at least half an hour

  • Chew sugar-free gum that has xylitol after consuming acidic foods or drinks to increase saliva flow.  Saliva helps neutralize acid and clean the teeth

  • To lessen the acid exposure to the teeth - drink beverage (tea, wine, fruit juices) with meals instead of sipping throughout the day



Treatment for tooth erosion:
  1. Small erosion uses composite filling

  2. Extensive erosion uses porcelain laminate veneer

  3. Any massive erosion that cannot use porcelain laminate veneer uses a crown (cap)