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Dentistry Memphis

What You Need to Know about Tooth Erosion

Handsome young man smiling, showing off his healthy teeth free from enamel erosionThere is a good reason that people are advised to visit a dentist at least twice a year. While the human teeth and the enamel that protects them are incredibly strong, they are also incredibly vulnerable to damage. Once even slight damage occurs, further damage is inevitable without immediate treatment. Although modern restorative dentistry offers many excellent solutions for repairing teeth that have suffered moderate to severe damage, it is far better to address potential oral health problems in their earliest possible stages - preferably even before they have a chance to begin.

One of the most common dental problems facing even those people who take relatively good care of their teeth is tooth erosion. Fortunately for patients of Southwind Dental Care in Memphis, tooth erosion treatments are available. In addition, we educate our patients about the many ways they can improve and extend the health of their teeth so that they can enjoy good oral health and thousands of beautiful, healthy smiles for a lifetime.

What Causes Tooth Erosion?

Natural tooth enamel is a remarkably strong and resilient substance; nevertheless, it is still susceptible to damage. In particular, it can be eaten away by the acids in the mouth, as well as the acids that are present in many foods and beverages. While frequent brushing, flossing, and trips to the dentist can minimize the effects of these acids, people who consume lots of acidic foods and liquids and do not have excellent oral hygiene regimens will eventually experience the erosion of the enamel.

Enamel can also be worn down by the acids within the body that can enter the mouth. People who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or who vomit more than average introduce a variety of acids into the mouth, all of which can damage the teeth and gums. Likewise, the enamel can be damaged by such conditions as bruxism (chronic grinding of the teeth) and dry mouth.

The purpose of tooth enamel is to protect the more sensitive underlying layers of the teeth from exposure to bacteria and food particles. When the enamel becomes worn, the body does not produce more. Once it is gone, it is gone for good. At this point, the underlying layers of the teeth become far more vulnerable to decay, discoloration, breakage, and other damage.

Treatments for Tooth Erosion

Patients who visit their dentists regularly ensure that enamel erosion is caught in its earliest possible stages, when lifestyle changes may be sufficient to preventing serious damage. Such patients are often advised to limit the amount of acidic foods and liquids - citrus fruits, berries, juices, carbonated beverages, tomatoes, red and white wines, and vinegar, for example – they consume. They may also be advised to improve their oral hygiene regimens and, if necessary, to give up habits that are harmful to the teeth such as smoking and chewing on ice.

If patients are already experiencing advanced erosion of the teeth, a restorative dentistry treatment plan may be in order. Various treatments, including scaling and root planing and dental crowns, may be combined to ensure the best results possible.

Contact Southwind Dental Care Today

To schedule your initial consultation with experienced dentist Timothy S. Messer, please contact Southwind Dental Care today.

Tagged In: Tooth Erosion, Restorative Dentistry

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I have been to several dentists in the Memphis Area and I have finally found THE ONE!! Dr. Messer is the best dentist I have ever been to. I have complete confidence in any procedure that he performs and I can't imagine ever going to any other dentist.

-Meredith Page B.