Battling Enamel Erosion

Good oral health is important when it comes to the comfort and condition of your body. Your teeth are protected by a dense mineral that surrounds the surface of each tooth. This mineral is commonly referred to as enamel.

Tooth enamel plays an important role in preserving your oral health. Without strong enamel, you may experience pain and be more prone to developing cavities in the future, resulting in more frequent visits to the dental office. Identifying the primary causes of enamel erosion will help you battle this condition as you care for your oral health over time.

1. Medications

Certain medications can have a negative effect on the quality of your tooth enamel. Acidic medicines (like aspirin) can wear down the enamel layer and expose the tooth's supporting structure to environmental decay.

Some medications can also cause dry mouth, which can contribute to enamel erosion. Be sure that you avoid chewing aspirin and other acidic medications and that you work with your doctor to find medications that don't cause dry mouth if you want to avoid enamel erosion in the future.

2. Acid Reflux

Exposing the enamel layer protecting your teeth to acid on a regular basis will lead to serious erosion over time. Many people suffer from a condition known as acid reflux. Your digestive tract is filled with acids that help to break down the foods that your eat.

Acid reflux occurs when these acids travel out of the digestive tract and up into the esophagus. As the acid makes its way into your mouth, the hard enamel layer covering your teeth is exposed to the acid and begins to deteriorate. Treating acid reflux with the correct medications can help you avoid severe enamel erosion.

3. Bruxism

Various types of physical trauma can lead to enamel erosion. Some physical trauma comes in the form of direct impact from a ball or other object, but most enamel trauma is produced by bruxism.

Commonly referred to as grinding one's teeth, bruxism can be detrimental to your oral health. As your teeth grind against one another, the enamel layer becomes compromised and begins to erode.

Bruxism can be related to stress levels. Managing your stress effectively can help you eliminate the negative side effects of bruxism. You can also work with your dentist to get fitted with a mouth guard that will protect your enamel against the ravages of bruxism if you grind your teeth while you are asleep.