Tooth Erosion

As well as damaged by decay, they can be eroded by acids in the mouth. Acids can come from food, drink, or sometimes from your stomach. Acids dissolve minerals out of the hard enamel surface, making teeth thin. The teeth can then become extra sensitive to hot and cold food and drink.

Erosion can also be linked with acidic drinks such as fizzy drinks. Even if they are 'diet' they are just as bad. Dentists will prioritise speaking to teenagers about these specific acidic drinks.

Some people suffer from erosion more than others. People with eating disorders may suffer from erosion because stomach acids attack their teeth. Dentists may inquire about an eating disorder if the teeth are badly eroded.

Can I prevent erosion?

You can protect your teeth from erosion by being careful how you use acidic drinks

  • Drink them less often.
  • Drink them quickly.
  • Drink them cold.
  • Use a straw so it misses your teeth.

Some foods are acidic too – for example, pickles.

Because acids temporarily soften the tooth, don't brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking something acidic. If you can, rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth 20-30 minutes after having the acidity in your mouth.

Dentists say you should brush your teeth twice a day (twice is enough if you do it thoroughly), and always use fluoride toothpaste. Like teeth that are attacked by decay, eroded teeth can use the minerals in saliva to mend themselves. Fluoride helps this process.

Can my dentist treat erosion?

The erosion attacks a tooth's entire surface; you may not notice it at first. Sometimes the teeth can be weakened so much that they have to be protected with crowns or veneers which replace the lost tooth surface.