Diet Related Acid Enamel Erosion

Diet and Acid Related Dental Enamel Tooth Wear and Erosion.

Boston House Dental Clinic- Specialist and Expert General Dentistry- City of London- London wall- Liverpool Street- Broad Gate- Bank- Moorgate- EC2M 5ND:

Dental Clinic Liverpool Street, Bank, Broadgate,

Specialist and Expert General Dentistry

Diet Related Dental Acid Erosion

Is there a hidden epidemic of Dental Tooth Wear caused by acidic foods and drinks? SHOULD THERE BE AN ACID TAX?

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Dental Acid Tooth Wear sometimes called Enamel Wear, Enamel Acid Erosion or Tooth Erosion, is shaping up to be one of the real challenges facing the dental health community in the 21st Century.

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The real challenge for us all is that, tooth wear/ acid erosion is a growing problem and by its nature at its initial stages is very hard to detect.

Acid enamel wear, is mainly caused by an acidic diet (foods/ drinks) or from the acid in our stomach entering the mouth.

Enamel is the white, mineral-rich protective outer layer of our teeth. It’s not just strong; it’s the hardest substance in our bodies. Surprisingly though, enamel can be weakened or softened just by the acids found in our everyday food and drinks. If weakened, our enamel can then be more easily worn away, even during regular brushing and especially in those who also grind or clench their teeth.

Over time as the enamel wears and the underlying dentine layer becomes more exposed, the tooth gradually becomes thinner, duller and more see-through. 

Will I need dental treatment?

Not necessarily.

The good news is that dental acid erosion takes time and so if caught and treated early will do little harm.

However, the bad news is that, untreated tooth wear can have many negative side effects, including weaker and more easily breakable teeth and fillings, bite disturbances, a less pleasing smile (due to yellower, jagged and shorter teeth), dental sensitivity and pain with a higher risk of irreversible dental nerve damage needing root canal treatment and in extreme cases even tooth loss.

Early stage treatment: May range from changes in habits and diet, use of mouth guards and small restorations.

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An example of a hard acrylic Michigan splint

Late stage treatment: Extensive tooth wear may require most or all the teeth to be restored as part of a full mouth reconstruction. These reconstructions by their nature are more costly, time consuming and have a greater risk of failure.

Full mouth reconstructions should only be attempted by highly experienced dentists and or specialists in Restorative and Prosthodontic dentistry who have the requisite training.

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Example of a case with severe tooth wear, the diagnostic 3-D wax up planning stage, along and the final restorations. This work was not carried out by Dr Fahid.

Modern acid rich diets are an important cause. It’s not just the carbonated beverages, coffee or wine. Surprisingly, it can even be our healthier choices: fruit, fruit juices, sparkling water with lemon, and even salad dressings can count towards our daily acidic “occasions.”

If our diet is healthy, let’s not change it. Let’s make sure that we’re protecting our precious enamel, by being proactive.

What does the dentist at Boston House look for? Most of our patient’s will find it hard to see the early signs, but when your dentist or hygienist is checking for tooth decay and gum health, he or she will also be looking for these 5 signs of Acid Erosion along with their distribution.

The 5 signs of acid erosion are: weak, thin, transparent or see-through, yellowing and dull enamel.

The distribution of the tooth wear can hold important clues as to its origin.

At Boston House we have a team of Prosthodontic and restorative specialists used to treating both early and late stage tooth wear.

In the first instance we will help to analyse your diet and with you develop strategies to reduce the risk of enamel erosion without compromising on a healthy lifestyle.

How Acidic is your diet?

It is important to maintain a healthy diet.

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HIGH ACIDIC VALUE:

Mango Sours, Pineapple, Lemon Juice, Wine, Sports Drinks, Tonic Water, Cherries, Carbonated Soft Drinks, including diet soda, Oranges, Plums, Iced Tea, Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries, Grapefruit Juice, Pickles, Vinegar, Apple Sauce, Apple Juice and Apple Cider, Salad Dressing, Cranberries, Orange Juice, Tomatoes.

MEDIUM ACIDIC VALUE:

Root Beer, Honey, Tomato Ketchup, Vegetables, Seedless Raisins, Vitamin C Tablets, Beer, Apples, Lemon Yogurt, Green Olives, Pesto, Pears, Apricots, Figs, Carrot Juice, Tea (black), Beetroot Juice

LOW ACIDIC VALUE:

Natural Yogurt, Yogurt Drink Orange, Probiotic Yogurt, Bananas, Rye, wheat and white bread, Cheese, Barley, Avocados, Broccoli, Cucumber, Black Olives, Peanut Butter, Milk, Mineral Water

Here are some very simple steps we can all take to start.

  • Don’t give up the healthy food in your diet, particularly fruit, but take a fresh look at how you eat it. If you’re eating something acidic, have cheese, milk, or another non-acidic food or drink with them.
  • Don’t swish, swirl or hold acidic drinks in your mouth for too long.
  • Many drinks, especially carbonated ones, can contribute to Acid Erosion. Try drinking through a straw or substituting the carbonated drink with water or milk.
  • Try not to brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking and make sure you’re using a soft-bristled brush.
  • Consider using a mouthwash along with a fluoride paste to give you extra protection from the effects of everyday acids.
  • In case of any concerns make an appointment to see your dentist if you haven’t been in the past 6 months or you have any concerns or symptoms.

Tooth wear/ Enamel acid erosion in the media.

How PROSECCO can ruin your teeth: Think your favourite fizz is a healthy option? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3474103/How-PROSECCO-ruin-teeth-Think-favourite-fizz-healthy-option-Sorry-dentist-won-t-agree.html

How trendy juice diets are ruining our TEETH: Dental damage is ‘soaring’ due to sugar and acid in the drinks eroding away enamel http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3135834/How-trendy-juice-diets-ruining-TEETH-Dental-damage-soaring-sugar-acid-drinks-eroding-away-tooth-enamel.html

Think sugar-free drinks are better for your teeth? Think AGAIN! Chemical mix of acids ‘is JUST as damaging, causing tooth decay’ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3336853/Think-sugar-free-drinks-better-teeth-Think-Chemical-mix-acids-JUST-damaging-causing-tooth-decay.html

Dentists’ warning on smoothies and juices: popular drinks more acidic than vinegar

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9277003/Dentists-warning-on-smoothies-and-juices-popular-drinks-more-acidic-than-vinegar.html

Tooth surface loss: an overview M Kelleher1 & K Bishop2

http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v186/n2/full/4800020a2.html

About the Blog: Dr Farid Fahid is recognised in the UK by the General Dental Council as a specialist in the field of Prosthodontics (restoration and replacement of broken down or missing teeth).

Dr Fahid along with the other specialists at Boston House is greatly experienced in both preventing and also dealing with the negative side effects of dental acid tooth wear.

Some of the resources used to produce this blog were from the website of SENSODYNE PRONAMEL. Dr Fahid has no commercial connection with PRONAMEL.

All the Clinical pictures from this blog where from the following article

 British Dental Journal 212, 17 – 27 (2012) Published online: 13 January 2012 | doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.2011.1099

Subject term: Tooth surface loss

Current concepts on the management of tooth wear: part 1. Assessment, treatment planning and strategies for the prevention and the passive management of tooth wear

S. B. Mehta1, S. Banerji2, B. J. Millar3 & J.-M. Suarez-Feito4

About the Clinic: Boston House is a Specialist Dental Clinic based in the City of London, 82 London wall, EC2M 5 ND. Boston House Dental Clinic may be found a few minute walk from Liverpool Street, Moorgate and Bank stations.

Boston House accepts both referrals from dental or medical colleagues or patients who wish to self refer.