What is dental erosion?

Drs. Keri Smith and David Hiebert of NW Heights Dental of Portland may have told a patient that they are dealing with dental erosion. However, what is dental erosion? What causes it? And most importantly, what can be done to treat it?

Below are a few of the most common questions regarding dental erosion:

Q: What is dental erosion?

A: When a patient has experienced the loss of enamel or the wearing of the hard tissues, they may be told they have dental erosion. This condition is irreversible.

Q: What causes dental erosion?

A: There are many ways in which patients may experience the erosion of their natural tooth enamel. Typically, erosion is caused by acids that can damage the natural structure of a tooth. Acids may be present in the mouth due to a patient’s natural diet or medical conditions such as acid reflux. Poor oral health can increase a patient’s chance of developing dental erosion, as can bruxism, a problem that causes patients to clench and grind their teeth, slowly wearing at the natural enamel.

Q: What can be done to prevent dental erosion?

A: Most patients can focus on taking good care of their smile to reduce the risk of developing dental erosion. Additionally, patients can work with their dentist to learn more about preventative solutions such as the administration of fluoride treatment or the placement of dental sealants. Some of these solutions can also keep current cases of erosion from becoming worse.

Q: What can be done to treat dental erosion when it occurs?

A: Dental erosion is not reversible, so prevention is the most important solution. However, patients who have experienced the loss of wearing of their natural tooth enamel may want to ask about solutions such as dental bonding, porcelain veneers, or dental crowns to restore the teeth and protect them from further damage.

Q: Who is at risk of developing dental erosion?

A: While anyone can develop dental erosion, patients who have the following conditions or concerns may be at a higher risk:

  • High sugar consumption
  • Pregnant women
  • Patients with alcoholism
  • Patients with bulimia
  • Acid reflux, or GERD

Learn about the care and protection of your smile!

Contact NW Heights Dental of Portland, OR by calling (503) 646-1463. Our facility is conveniently located at 975 NW Salzman Road.

Posted in: General & Family Dentistry

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