There is more than meets the eye when it comes to oral health. Even the best oral health care habits can result in enamel erosion. It takes more than good oral health care to have a bright, white smile. Our diet plays a vital role in our oral health, and consuming a diet that is high in acid can affect the look of our smile. What many people find surprising is that acid erosion is completely unrelated to tooth decay and is directly affected by the food and drink that is consumed.
The Effects of a Normal Diet
A diet that is low in acidic levels will typically not affect the enamel on our teeth. This means that we consume foods that have a neutral pH level, allowing our body to easily digest the foods, leaving our enamel alone. Our saliva is able to handle the acidic levels of the food that we consume, washing the acid down, rather than allowing it to settle on our enamel and eat away at it.
The Effects of an Acidic Diet
An acidic diet, on the other hand, has a low pH level, which means that it is high in acid, forcing our teeth to be exposed to the acid. In normal circumstances, our saliva can balance out the acidic levels, leaving our enamel unharmed. When our diet contains high levels of acid, such as frequent consumption of soda or wine, it becomes more difficult for our mouth to keep up with the level of acid being consumed, making it difficult for our saliva to neutralize them in our mouth. In the end, our enamel pays the price by slowly being eaten away.
Food and Drinks to Avoid
How do we know if a food or drink is highly acidic? Unfortunately, there are no telltale signs on the label, but in general soda pop, sports drinks, wine, citrus fruits and some yogurts have a very high content. This does not mean that these foods can never be consumed, but if they are consumed in large quantities, they could leave our mouths at risk.
Do I Have Enamel Erosion?
In order to tell if enamel erosion is occurring, consider the following symptoms:
· Excessive tooth sensitivity
· Yellowish appearance to the enamel
· Indentations or tiny cracks in various teeth
· Rough or chipped edges of several teeth
If any of these symptoms are discovered, it is important to come in for an appointment to allow us to evaluate the situation. We can determine the right solution to repair the enamel and ease the pain and discomfort of enamel erosion.