Tooth erosion, the loss of dental enamel, can occur as a result of poor dental habits, but it can also happen as a result of general wear and tear. Enamel lost to tooth erosion will not replace itself, making dental treatment necessary. Restorative dentistry treatments can reverse the damage caused by tooth erosion, improving both oral health and dental appearance. To find out which treatment for tooth erosion is right for you, contact the Wilmington, DE practice Brown and Baran Family Dentistry. In the meantime, read on to learn more about treatments for tooth erosion and tips to protect your dental health.
Tooth Erosion Treatments
The teeth are protected by an outer layer called the enamel. Although dental enamel is hard and durable, it can erode from exposure to acids found in dental bacteria and the foods we eat and drink. Dental enamel can also wear from the friction produced by brushing too hard, grinding the teeth, or simply from a lifetime of use.
Once tooth erosion occurs, the enamel will not restore itself, leaving the teeth vulnerable to further erosion and decay, which may lead to tooth loss. Seeking treatment for tooth erosion is important to protecting dental health. There are a variety of treatments to repair the damage of tooth erosion. The treatment used will depend on the extent of damage, but may include one or more of the following treatments:
- Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers are thin fabrications that cover the surface of the front facing teeth. A small amount of enamel needs to be removed to allow room for the veneers to be bonded to the teeth, making those with mild erosion generally suitable candidates.
- Dental bonding: Dental bonding treatment uses a soft resin applied and shaped directly on the teeth to improve dental health and appearance. Although enamel is not removed to place the bonding material, tooth erosion should be minimal if undergoing this treatment.
- Inlay or onlay: Patients with moderate to severe erosion may require more extensive restorative treatment. Both inlays and onlays can repair the damage of tooth erosion while also restoring dental appearance.
- Dental crown: Dental crowns can repair teeth severely damaged by tooth erosion. Dental crowns completely encase teeth weakened by erosion, decay, or injury.
Preventing Tooth Erosion
With proper dental care, it is possible to reduce the risk of tooth erosion. Prevent tooth erosion and protect your oral health by following these tips:
- Brush and floss routinely: Plaque and tartar buildup increase the risk of tooth erosion, but you can protect your teeth by brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
- Brush gently: Brushing too hard can actually damage dental enamel. Use gentle pressure and a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging tooth enamel.
- Avoid sugary, acidic foods and drinks: Sugary, acidic foods and drinks can erode the enamel. Limit sugary, acidic foods and drinks. When you do indulge in something sugary or acidic, rinse the mouth with water to remove and neutralize acids.
- Seek treatment for teeth grinding: The friction of teeth grinding can damage the enamel. Treatment for teeth grinding can help protect the teeth from damage.
- See your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings: Regular exams and cleanings are key to catching damage early and preventing plaque and tartar buildup.
Learn More about Your Treatment Options
For more information about tooth erosion treatments, or to discuss your other dental care needs, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly dentists at Brown and Baran Family Dentistry.