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4 Rogers Street
Spring Hill, QLD, 4000

+61 7 3391 2504

Brisbane Dentist - excellence in general and aesthetic dentistry with Drs Amy Daley, Leila Haywood, UQ graduates with 20 years of experience in Spring Hill, Brisbane

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What is dental erosion?

Tooth erosion is the wear of a tooth due to acid intake or reflux.

What is dental erosion?

Erosion is the washing away of the tooth structure caused by acidic things. Another term that is used in dentistry is demineralisation, meaning that the minerals are being leached out of the teeth. Often a dentist can see damage to the teeth, where the tooth enamel, which is harder than bone, is missing, and the dentine, the softer part of the tooth, which is normally covered by the hard enamel, has become exposed. This can cause sensitivity, and sometimes the area can decay much more readily than if the enamel were still present. The problem is often caused by excessive consumption of cola flavoured soft drinks or energy drinks in younger patients, due to the very high sugar content, caffeine which stems the protectant measure of a good saliva flow, and the acidity of it, allowing the  perfect environment for decay and erosion. Fizzy drinks and energy drinks are high in sugar and acid, which can also cause a high decay rate. Sometimes wine leads to a recognisable form of loss of the tooth structure.  Sport drinks used to rehydrate after sport can be very damaging because of the acidity of the drinks, and the high sugar content.  The acid contributes to softening of the teeth.  Spicy foods are also linked with erosion of the tooth structure.

Gastric reflux is associated with the stomach acids entering the mouth and causing a recognisable pattern of erosion through the teeth. In severe cases the teeth are worn down to the gum line, and require very extensive rehabilitation. And eating disorders can of course be linked with catastrophic loss of the tooth structure, caused by erosion due to stomach acids.

The level of damage is variable. Sometimes it requires monitoring, other times a white filling (composite resin) can be used to rebuild the damage tooth. For others, extensive care with crown work is required to rebuild the damaged teeth. Tooth Mousse Plus is a professional remineralising cream which is used to help counteract the acidity.