Dental Enamel Erosion: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments

Posted on: 7 July 2023

Dental enamel erosion refers to when the enamel of your teeth becomes damaged as a result of erosion. This causes the hard enamel to thin and wear away, and while the damage from enamel erosion usually cannot be reversed, there are things you can do to prevent further damage. Here are some things to know about dental enamel erosion, including its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Causes And Symptoms Of Dental Enamel Erosion

One of the most common causes of enamel erosion is eating and drinking foods and beverages that are acidic. These include coffee, tea, citrus fruits, and citrus juice. Drinking soda and soft drinks can also contribute to dental enamel erosion, as can energy drinks and iced tea. Another cause of dental enamel erosion is acid reflux disease.  When stomach acid backflows or is refluxed into the throat and oral cavity, it can make contact with your teeth.

Stomach acid is very damaging to your enamel, and because of this, can lead to dental enamel erosion. Symptoms of enamel erosion include pain or sensitivity when eating or drinking, changes in the shape of your teeth, and tooth discoloration. The reason your teeth may look discolored is that dental erosion makes your enamel thinner and more transparent, which allows the dark yellow dentin to show through.

Treatment Options For Dental Enamel Erosion

If your enamel erosion is caused by acidic foods and drinks, your dentist may recommend limiting your intake to help prevent further tooth damage. Brushing with a special toothpaste made for people with enamel erosion can help reduce tooth sensitivity and pain, however, it will not harden your damaged enamel or make it stronger. Further, if your dental enamel erosion is caused by acid reflux, your dentist may refer you back to your primary care doctor who can help you manage your condition.

Once your acid reflux is under control, your symptoms may resolve and it will help prevent further enamel erosion. If your dentist determines that some of your teeth are weak as a result of acid erosion, they may recommend dental crowns to help restore the strength and structure of the affected teeth.

If you have enamel erosion, see your dentist on a regular basis so that they can monitor your condition and develop a plan of care. When treatment is implemented as soon as possible, you may be able to enjoy your favorite foods and drinks symptom-free and save your teeth from further damage.