A recent study published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry reported that from a pool of 3,773 participants, researchers found 79% had evidence of dental erosion, 64% had mild tooth wear, 10% had moderate tooth wear and 5% displayed signs of severe tooth wear. The participants in the study with moderate and severe tooth wear consumed more soft drinks and fruit juices each day than the other groups.
Dental erosion is when enamel – the hard, protective coating of the tooth – is worn away by exposure to acid. The erosion of the enamel can result in pain – particularly when consuming hot or cold food – as it leaves the sensitive dentine area of the tooth exposed. Acidic erosion of the enamel along the gum line of the front teeth can lead to an unsightly smile line.
The enamel on the tooth becomes softer and loses mineral content when we eat or drink anything acidic. However, this acidity is cancelled out by saliva, which slowly restores the natural balance within the mouth. But if the mouth is not given enough time to repair itself – because these acid attacks are happening too often – the surface of the teeth is worn away.
Anything with a pH value (the measure of acidity) lower than 5.5 can damage the teeth. Diet and regular sodas, carbonated drinks, flavored fizzy waters, sports drinks, fruit and fruit juices are all known to be harmful to teeth if they are consumed too often. Many sodas and fruit juices contain at least six teaspoons of sugar and as they often come in portions that are larger than recommended, they can lead to tooth decay, as well as dental erosion.
Fruit juice may be a nutritious drink. However, the high concentrations of sugar and acid can lead to severe dental damage if these drinks are consumed often each day. Water and milk are the best choices by far, not only for the good of our oral health but our overall health too.
If you would like more information about dental erosion, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.
Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.