Tooth Erosion | Can Be Avoided

(Last Updated On: March 29, 2012)

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Tooth Erosion | Can Be Avoided
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Tooth Erosion
Everybody remembers the urban legend about a glass of soda that if someone takes a tooth that he has just lost (the legend only works for the very young) and drops it in a glass of Coca – Cola, by morning it will be dissolved. Well, it isnt quite that extreme, but tooth erosion is a very real problem for millions of dental patients, the young and the old.
Tooth enamel erosion and its sensitivity occurs most frequently in the aged; one cannot drink hot coffee, icy drinks or accustomed beverages as readily as before, because the pain is too intense at times. The sensitivity of the teeth to temperature changes, especially in food and drink, is a fairly reliable sign of acid tooth erosion, or at least its onset.
Its very much like that glass of Coca – Cola. Over time, teeth are exposed to every imaginable substance, both in food ingestion and in the atmosphere, so that the enamel on the surface of ones teeth the hardest substance known in the human body, indeed in all the world can actually begin to wear away. An over – acidic amount of food intake in the form of sodas, acid – based tomato – and – oil foods, and the processed and fast foods people are accustomed to (with their nightmarish overloads of sugar, sodium and fats) can lead to pronounced tooth wear and even, in extreme cases, brittleness. Its at this stage that most people with weak or broken teeth begin to think dentures.
Before they reach that stage, however, there is some hope for people whose tooth enamel is not too far gone. It is probable that, if ones diet is changed, and more mineral – rich foods and calcium – based substances (milk, for instance) are ingested, the ravaged teeth may begin to repair themselves.
Saliva in the mouth actually contains traces of mineral that act as a lubricant and restorative to tooth enamel; in other words, the tooth surface literally recoats itself. Therefore, minerals and mineral by – products (as are found in vitamin supplements and in some bottled waters) are excellent restoratives for worn teeth.
There are other benefits as well: restored teeth are much less prone to tooth decay and cavities; therefore, fewer trips to the dentist, and fewer sessions with his drill, are an excellent and desirable side effect to this health regimen.
Speaking of the dentist, he has a number of methods to restore eroded teeth or to halt further damage. One of the most frequently used is that of the mouth cushion: the dentist uses a jellied mould in the patients mouth to make a cast of the upper and lower jaws. This mould, when hardened, fits comfortably inside the patients mouth, and is worn in sleep; the sleep state is when a great deal of involuntary tooth grinding (the reaction to stress, anger, bad dreams, etc.) takes place.
Some other tips to avoid tooth erosion include the following:
If one drinks acid – based sodas or fruit juices, one should swallow the liquid rather than allowing it to play around the mouth by sipping.
If one ingests acid – based drinks at all, the best time is at meals; the individual will ingest foodstuffs that may act as a counteragent to the acids. Breads and vegetables, particularly vitamin and mineral rich greens and starch-based foodstuffs, are excellent counter – actives against acid.
Finally, one obviously maintains dental care, including twice – daily brushing with fluoride – based toothpaste at the end of the day not at mealtime, when the acids in food will have softened tooth enamel temporarily.
Tooth erosion is a painful and unsightly condition, but it can be avoided, and often repaired with only a few changes in ones diet.