September 27, 2017 | by Gina
Erosion: What You Can Do
Erosion occurs when acids wear away at the tooth enamel over time. A tooth with erosion looks dimpled, rough and dull. This can increase sensitivity, and make the tooth more susceptible to breakage or decay. Though prevention is the most successful strategy, monitoring and resurfacing treatment are also available options.
Erosion can be caused by what we are eating or drinking. Many of our manufactured foods and beverages contain more potent acids than natural or “whole” foods contain. The more modern habit of sipping on the go, or snacking throughout the day can make the applications of harmful acids more frequent. A neutral pH is 7, and most foods contain a lower, or acidic, measurement. As a reference, battery acid is 1.0. Processed foods and drinks such as sodas, juices, beer and wine, vinegar, pickles, coffee and sports drinks can contain acids. Apple cider vinegar, which actually turns basic or alkaline when processed by the body, goes across the teeth at a potent 2.4-3.4 pH. Sports drinks and sodas can be just as acidic, and more harmful because they are consumed in greater quantities over a longer period of time than a morning “shot” of vinegar. Wine and lemon juice top the list at a very acidic 2-2.3 pH.
Additionally, reflux and heartburn can expose tooth enamel to powerful stomach acids when traveling up through the esophagus. Soda or any carbonated beverages can distend the stomach, which can worsen GERD and reflux. Major risk factors are a fatty diet, and larger meal portions. Saturated fat and fried foods kick stomach acids into overdrive. It is also important to note that GERD can be asymptomatic, and you may not be aware that you have it. If you experience heartburn, talk to your doctor or dentist to discuss treatment options.
Prevention is more effective than treatment when it comes to erosion: minimize dietary acids, and secondarily, minimize the frequency of application (sipping or snacking). Try NOT to brush immediately after acid exposure. Your enamel is fragile after exposure to acids, and a water rinse or swish is best, followed by brushing about 2 hours later. Stick to moderately portioned, lower-fat meals and avoid soda to minimize stomach acids. Dental plaque also secretes acid, and can operate in both erosion and tooth decay (though the two are different, they can share this causative factor.)
Here at Monroe Street Family Dental, we can provide some tools to help. Ask us at your next visit about a high-resolution, three-dimensional scan to help record the appearance of your teeth and track acid erosion. Fluoride treatments can remineralize the teeth and provide some protection against acids. We can evaluate you for xerostomia (dry mouth), which can also worsen the effects of acids. Dietary coaching is available, as well as a self-questionnaire to help evaluate whether you may have GERD or another medical condition. With erosion, prevention is best and restoration is possible - and your professional dental staff is here to help.
September 27, 2017
Erosion: What You Can Do
Erosion occurs when acids wear away at the tooth enamel over time. Read more for find out how it occurs and what you can do to prevent or treat teeth with erosion.
July 19, 2017
Invisalign - Why the Time is Now
Read more to find out how you can achieve a straighter and healthier smile.
April 17, 2017
Tips on How to Prepare Your Child for a Filling Visit
Here are some tips if your child has an appointment for a cavity.
February 13, 2017
Health History – Now Paperless
If you've been to our office lately, you may have noticed a change with our check-in process. We have introduced electronic health history forms.
January 15, 2017
How to Prepare for Your Child's First Visit to the Dentist
Dr. Farrow recommends children have their first dental visit after their first birthday. Learn how to prepare yourself and your child for their first visit to the dentist.
October 05, 2016
To Floss or Not to Floss?
Have you read the recent articles debunking the recommendations to floss daily? Read more about Gina's and Dr. Farrow's reflections and response to those articles.
August 15, 2016
We now offer dental implant services at Monroe Street Family Dental. Read more on why choosing a dental implant may be right for you.
July 21, 2016
Invisalign Promotion - Summer 2016
Monroe Street Family Dental is excited to offer an incredible package to help get you the smile you’ve always wanted!
July 06, 2016
Oral Care During Pregnancy: A Guide
Misinformation abounds in terms of prenatal dental health. Read more to know specifically what preventative steps to take before, during, and after your pregnancy.
May 04, 2016
The Healthy Baby Exam
What is a healthy baby exam and why is it important?
April 11, 2016
The Early Orthodontic Evaluation
Many parents with young children have questions about orthodontics: Will my son or daughter need braces? When do you start? How much will it cost?
March 24, 2016
“No-Drill Dentistry” on NPR’s Your Health
Is fluoride good for you and does Dr. Farrow recommend it? Read more...
March 02, 2016
Chicago Midwinter - What's at a Dental Convention?
Whatever your industry - everyone has a conference. What's at a dental convention and why does Dr. Farrow and his team attend? Read more to find out about their latest trip to Chicago for the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting.
February 18, 2016
Managing Dental Anxiety
Going to the dentist can cause anxiety and this a normal reaction. Whether it is a specific fear (i.e needles, sounds, painful past experiences) or nervousness about the entire experience, we would like to know how you are feeling.
January 29, 2016
Preventing Overkill in Modern Dental Care
This past summer, I had the pleasure of reading an insightful article in the New Yorker by surgeon Atul Gawande, entitled “Overkill.” Its central thesis is that our health care system is wrought with overtreatment and unnecessary care.
December 28, 2015
Changes for State of Wisconsin Employees
2016 brings big changes to State of Wisconsin employees who previously had Momentum as their dental insurance administrator.
December 07, 2015
End of 2015 News
The end of year is upon us and we hope 2015 has been a wonderful year for you and your loved ones.
November 02, 2015
Options in Orthodontics: Stick with Your Dentist
Have you considered Invisalign as an adult for a straighter smile. Learn why your dentist may be the best person to help you with orthodontic treatment.
October 19, 2015
Oil Pulling: Is the Benefit Real?
Have you heard of “oil pulling"? This natural health trend is being touted by many as having curative properties.
September 30, 2015
Insurance Open Enrollment
The month of October brings open enrollment for dental benefits, and we encourage you to review your options. Read more to review some of options that may affect you.
September 21, 2015
For many students back to school also means participating in sports. A mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be standard equipment from an early age.
August 05, 2015
E-Cigarettes: Their Threat to Your General and Dental Health
Learn more about e-cigarettes and how they can affect your health.
July 15, 2015
Probiotics and Your Oral Health
Several of our patients over the past year have asked about the probiotics and oral health.
June 24, 2015
Team Trip to San Francisco
Last week the entire team traveled to San Francisco for the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) conference and convocation for Dr. Farrow. Learn more about our trip!
March 06, 2015
Join Our Sustainability Commitment
Did you know the average person wastes at least 90 glasses of water every day by leaving the tap running while they brush their teeth?
February 15, 2015
What is Holistic Dentistry?
Many people that we have met in the last 5 years have asked us if our office practices “holistic dentistry.” We see our unique approach to holistic dentistry as one that broadens perspectives: whole person. whole community. whole planet.
March 17, 2014
Headaches and TMJ
Headaches are complex and can have many contributing factors. We have found that with careful diagnosis, we can relieve some headaches and improve patient's daily activities like eating and sleeping.
March 17, 2014
It's Not Just a Cleaning
Regular dental cleanings, with an exam, can do more than keep your smile attractive. Recent research suggests that the health of your mouth mirrors the condition of your body as a whole.