Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Increased consumption of acidic drinks causes dental erosion


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A large number of patients visiting the dental health care centers present with dental erosion. Increased incidence of eroded and worn teeth can be the result of overwhelming consumption of acidic drinks and beverages in the modern world. Our social gatherings, meetings, family functions and meals are accompanied by cola drinks and lemon juices. Furthermore, weight conscious folks suck on lemons and continuously intake lemon water to reduce weight and combat obesity. These habits result in increased solubility and softness of outer hard enamel surface of our teeth.

Demineralization of enamel is extremely harmful as enamel does not exhibit the ability to repair or replace itself following trauma or damage. Prevention of enamel loss is the key to long life of your teeth. Enamel loss owing to dental erosion exposes the underlying dentin. Exposure of dentin causes sensitivity, discomfort and pain deteriorating the quality of life of the affected individuals. Dietary modification is necessary to prevent erosion of enamel. Use of milk instead of lemon juice has shown decreased occurrence of dental erosion. Increase intake of water after consumption of lemon products to neutralize the harmful effects. This article gives an insight into the etiology and prevention of dental erosion.

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.

The study finds that a substantial proportion of adults show some evidence of dental erosion, with the most severe cases being among people who drink sugary soft drinks and fruit juices.

“Water and milk are the best choices by far, not only for the good of our oral health but our overall health too,” says Dr. Carter. “Remember, it is how often we have sugary foods and drinks that causes the problem so it is important that we try and reduce the frequency of consumption.”

“Dental erosion does not always need to be treated. With regular check-ups and advice your dental team can prevent the problem getting any worse and the erosion going any further. The more severe cases of tooth wear can often result in invasive and costly treatment so it is important that we keep to a good oral hygiene routine to make sure these future problems do not arise.”

Increased consumption of acidic drinks causes dental erosion