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How Can Acidic Food Affect The Teeth?

Posted by Dr.Bird on Jun 9 2021, 11:20 PM

Tooth erosion happens when the tooth's enamel wears away, exposing the underlying dentin. The loss of dentin could leave your tooth more vulnerable to plaque, sensitivity, bacteria, tooth decay, and cavities. 

While intake of excess sugar causes tooth decay, it isn't the only culprit. Intrinsic or extrinsic factors could also lead to tooth erosion. The intrinsic factors include acid reflux and excessive vomiting, while outside factors could be related to your diet, for example, the consumption of acidic foods. 

 How Do Acidic Foods Hurt? 

Foods and drinks with high acidity levels can wear away the teeth's enamel, causing stains, discoloration, decay, and sensitivity. It also leads to demineralization, leaving your teeth's dentin exposed. This makes the teeth more vulnerable to sensitivity. 

What Foods Cause Tooth Erosion?

  • Wine:Drinking wine will soften the tooth enamel.
  • Fruit juice:Lemon, cranberry, orange, and apple are acidic.
  • Citric fruits:  Intake of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes can cause tooth erosion.
  • Candy: Sour gummies and candies are acidic and can cause the wear of tooth enamel.
  • Sugar:Though sugar does not contain high acidity levels, it supports the growth of acid-creating bacteria in your mouth.

What Are The Signs of Tooth Erosion?

It is critical to notice the early signs of tooth erosion to prevent more severe damage, such as cracks, pain, and tooth decay.

  • Sensitivity:As the teeth's protective enamel erodes, the teeth become sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet food and drink. 
  • Discoloration: The thinning of enamel exposing the underlying dentin causes teeth staining and discoloration.  
  • Transparency: Your front teeth may become transparent near the edges.
  • Cracks:Erosion causes weakening of enamel, leading to cracks and roughness at the edges of teeth.

Dental erosion can cause the loss of the tooth's surface, leading to the need for complex dental treatment involving fillings, veneers, crowns, and root canal treatment. 

How To Prevent Tooth Erosion?

You can't fully stop the consumption of acidic foods. Instead, follow these tips to reduce the ill effects of acid on the teeth.

  • Eat with meals: Eat acidic foods with your main meals to neutralize the acid. 
  • Sip water: Drink water alongside the acidic food to wash it out of your mouth.
  • Use a straw:Drink acidic beverages using a straw to reduce their contact with your teeth. 
  • Choose low or no-sugar drinks: Read nutrition labels to reduce your sugar consumption.
  • Wait before brushing:Though dentists recommend brushing after every meal, avoid doing so immediately after consuming acidic foods. Acid softens the tooth's enamel; brushing right after an acidic meal before the enamel has time to settle again will speed up the tooth wear. 

Additionally,

  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Don't use abrasive toothpaste. 
  • Wear a dental splint if you grind your teeth. 

Visit your dental professional regularly to identify dental erosion early and prevent further dental decay and tooth wear. Call Paradise Family Dental, WA, at (509) 581-0626 to schedule an appointment with our dentist. 


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