One of the primary goals of general dentistry services is to keep the mouth clean and maintain the integrity of the teeth. However, it is not just tooth decay from bacteria, plaque, and tartar that can threaten the strength of the teeth. Erosion is another common problem for our patients. Erosion refers to a loss of or weakening of tooth enamel, which leaves teeth vulnerable to decay and can cause painful side effects. Restorative dentistry services allow us to rebuild tooth structure for patients so that they can once again enjoy a strong, fully functioning smile. Downtown Dentists and their dental team can help patients understand the possible causes of tooth erosion and discuss the various tooth erosion treatments available at our Downtown Houston practice.
Causes of Tooth Erosion
Many patients confuse tooth erosion with tooth decay. Although tooth erosion does result in a loss of healthy tooth structure, it is not caused by an overabundance of bacteria in the mouth. Instead, tooth erosion is primarily caused by one of the following factors:
- Acidic oral environment: Acid erosion is the most common form of tooth erosion. When the pH balance of the mouth is thrown off, the overly acidic environment can break down tooth enamel, leaving it weak and damaged. There are several things that can cause a patient’s mouth to be high in acid. One is the regular consumption of acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits, wine, and coffee. Other conditions that can create acidic oral environments include dry mouth (when there is not sufficient saliva to wash away the acid), acid reflux, and bulimia.
- Abrasion/Attrition: Abrasion and attrition can also cause tooth erosion. These describe habits that place an excessive amount of force on the teeth or cause the teeth to rub up against one another. Tooth enamel can be damaged by nail biting, teeth grinding, teeth clenching, or even from frequent consumption of hard or sticky foods.
- Aging: In some patients, tooth erosion is simply a natural side effect of aging. As the teeth age, it is common for tooth enamel to thin and weaken.
Tooth erosion will be treated in the same way no matter what the cause of the condition may be. The goal of tooth erosion treatment is to rebuild tooth structure to strengthen the teeth and protect the pulp and roots of the teeth. Common tooth erosion treatments include dental bonding and dental crowns.
Downtown Dentists and their team offer a wide variety of restorative dental treatments that will renew the health and strength of your smile. If you are worried about the condition of your teeth and are looking for trusted dental care to restore your oral health, contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more about our comprehensive dental services. We look forward to hearing from you!