Acid Erosion

What is acid erosion?

Enamel is a strongest substance in the human body but repeated exposure to acid weakens it.  When combined with grinding or clenching, the enamel tends to erode away even faster, leaving the dentin that lays underneath exposed, which increases your risk of developing tooth decay and tooth sensitivity.

In healthy individuals, saliva helps to balance the oral pH.  Acid mostly comes from the bacteria in the mouth.  They break down the sugars and carbohydrates from our diet and convert them into acid.  Plaque that forms around the teeth is acidic.  As a result, the longer the plaque is in contact with teeth, the more minerals are leached from it, thereby weakening the enamel.  If you have gum recession, minerals can be leached out of the root surface as well.  Certain medical conditions may also make the oral environment more acidic.  Some examples include dry mouth, acid reflux, GERD, bulimia or emesis in general introduces stomach acid to the mouth, thereby weakening the enamel.

Is there anything I can do to help reduce the acidity in my mouth?

Yes.  Firstly, keeping yourself hydrated is important.  Secondly, if you are prone to dry mouth or have any of the above conditions making you more prone to tooth decay, we recommend oral rinses with baking soda (1/2 teaspoon) and water (8 ounces) mix.  This can help restore the pH in the mouth and may slow the progression of acid erosion.  There are also special toothpastes and rinses to help protect your teeth against the effects of low pH.  Visit us for more information.