Dental erosion is the loss of tooth enamel as a result of a direct acid attack. It can be caused by excessive exposure to acidic substances such as fizzy drinks. The condition is irreversible. Tooth erosion is not the same as tooth decay, tooth decay is the progressive loss of tooth enamel by the acid found in plaque. When the bacteria in the mouth break down into acids, this acid then attacks the outer layer of the teeth. The upper front teeth are normally affected the most by dental erosion, although all teeth can be damaged. Erosion can lead to glassy, shorter and chipped teeth that can also become extremely sensitive due to the exposure of the nerves.
The acid that causes tooth erosion comes either from a source within the body, such as acid from the stomach, or from an external source such as acidic foods, drinks and medication. Vomiting and acid reflux are internal sources of acid, these conditions can be a result of a hiatus hernia, obesity or certain drugs or bulimia. Fruit juices, fizzy drinks and foods such as rhubarb and citrus fruits, are external examples of acidic sources.
Regular dental appointments at your local London clinic means that signs of erosion can be detected early. The first stage in diagnosing dental erosion is to detail how severe and extensive the problem is. This is done by the dentist taking impressions of your teeth and casting it in plaster. Regular plaster moulds of your teeth can be taken to determine if erosion is getting worse over time. Fillings, crowns and dental implants are all treatments that can be used to repair the damage caused be acid erosion. However, in some cases, your damaged teeth may need to be removed due to extreme cases of tooth decay.