When tooth enamel disappears

What is an interesting observation in nature, such as washed-out rocks formed by the strong effect of water in a surf, you would rather not find in your own teeth. Did you know that tooth enamel is the hardest material in our body? And what is also important to know: tooth enamel cannot grow back. So how can it happen that this hard material disappears all at once? Tooth enamel is supposed to be protective, resistant, and all of a sudden depressions appear on the teeth, darker areas shine through. It looks more like a volcanic area than white intact teeth. Erosions are caused by a strongly acidic PH value in the mouth. The enamel is able to withstand acidic environment, as long as the duration of action is not too long and remineralization can take place. This means that time plays a major role here. The body is only able to react adequately to certain influences up to a certain point. If, for example, the consumption of citrus fruits increases to several times a day and juices, juice spritzers or energy drinks are also consumed, the buffer capacity may no longer be sufficient. Even though fruits and fruit juices are not harmful per se, too frequent consumption can create a permanently unfavorable environment and promote the development of erosions and/or caries.

Recognize first signs

It can start quite subtly, without any particular abnormalities or discomfort. Sometimes quite inconspicuous in the form of small trough-shaped changes on the occlusal surfaces or the smooth surface of the tooth. It can also happen that already advanced erosions are only temporarily sensitive, then react again more insensitively to cold, and yet they continue to progress, so that only very late stronger complaints appear. Therefore, clarify it at an early stage whether erosions are present and or you are prone to them. Then we can talk about the right prevention in time and you have the possibility to actively influence it. Existing erosions can also be treated, i.e. filled, for further prevention. This can make sense from an aesthetic and mechanical point of view. However, it is important and sensible to distinguish them from similar defects, such as wedge-shaped defects in the neck of the tooth. The cause here is more mechanical and should therefore be distinguished from erosions and discussed with regard to therapy.

Even if foods do not taste sour directly, you should pay attention to the amount consumed: (how often a day and in what quantities)

  •  juices, juice spritzers, sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit tea, wine
  • fruits, especially citrus fruits// some vegetables like tomatoes
  • vinegar and vinegar products
  • If reflux or an eating disorder exists, these are also important factors that can directly affect oral health and should be considered.

What you can do if you already have erosion? If possible, you should avoid acids! This does not mean that you should give up a balanced diet. However, the frequency plays a particularly large influence.

  • Reduce additional acidic drinks between meals.
  • Drink juices and juice spritzers rather only with the main meals. Additionally drink water for flushing effect.
  • If you eat fruit, then eat them, for example, together with other products, such as oatmeal, quinoa, yogurt or cottage cheese.
  • Treat stomach disorders such as reflux (heartburn) – or seek advice on dietary changes here as well.
  • Confide in a doctor about eating disorders.