Dallas, TX Cosmetic Dentist Describes Dental Erosion

Written by Dr. Lin on May 5, 2013

Dental erosion of tooth enamel is a problem that affects many people and is the most common dental disease in children and teenagers. The Dallas, TX Cosmetic Dentist sees many cases where the damage has already progressed to the point where it cannot be corrected. It is very important to be aware of the causes and symptoms of acid erosion because once dental enamel is lost, it cannot be replaced.

What causes dental acid erosion?

Erosion occurs when healthy tooth enamel is worn away by constant contact with acidic food and drinks. Your dentist will tell you that the problem is especially prevalent in young children because they tend to consume great quantities of fruit juices. Drinks like orange and apple juice are thought to be healthy, but they actually contain high levels of acid. Other drinks that cause dental erosion are carbonated cola drinks and wine. Another common cause of dental erosion in adults is the presence of gastric acid. This is a common problem for adults suffering from GERD (acid reflux).

What are the symptoms of dental erosion?

There are a number of signs that you may be suffering from dental erosion. Some things to look for are:

Yellowing of teeth:  As acid wears away the healthy enamel of your tooth, the underlying yellowish dentin becomes more apparent.
Increased sensitivity:  Healthy dental enamel is a hard substance that protects the underlying tooth structure. As this wears away, you may notice an increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods.
Changes in the shape of your teeth:  As acid erosion takes its toll, it wears away the healthy enamel causing the teeth to change in shape or create gaps between teeth. 
Dental fillings become more noticeable:  Since your dental fillings are made of a different material, they will not wear away at the same rate as dental enamel. This causes the fillings to become more apparent as dental enamel degrades in surrounding teeth.

The most important thing to remember is that once dental enamel is gone, it’s gone for good. You may halt the progress of dental erosion, but you cannot reverse its effects. If you are concerned about the appearance of your teeth because of dental erosion, contact the Dallas, TX Cosmetic Dentist. We will discuss the best ways for you to preserve healthy tooth enamel and cosmetically correct teeth that may already be damaged.