Tooth Erosion – Causes and Consequences Outlined


More than 70 percent of adults in the UK lack the confidence of showcasing wide open smiles. One of the reasons cited is the embarrassment felt over the colour of teeth. Many patients are aware that there are two main causes of teeth becoming discoloured, consuming certain foods and beverages, and smoking. What is lesser known are teeth that appear discoloured can also be a consequence of enamel wear. This dental concern can go unnoticed by patients and progress to the stage when it can have a detrimental impact on dental health as well as the quality of a patient’s life.

In addition to cosmetic changes, the wear of enamel brings about dentine hypersensitivity issues that can be uncomfortable for a patient when eating and cleaning teeth. One of the benefits of having a dentist in Stevenage conduct dental health checks is that a dental professional can quite easily pick up worrying signs and implement preventive measures.

What causes tooth erosion?

As is often the case with many medical conditions including dental issues, patients’ education and awareness is instrumental in being proactive about prevention and treatment. Patient behaviour and lifestyles are the two main branches of what causes enamel wear. Knowing what these are will help patients be more aware of their actions and choices and take actionable steps to correct them.

Patients should look out for the following behaviours that are known causes of enamel loss:

  • Repetitive grinding of teeth that is not corrected can lead to the weakening of tooth enamel.
  • The presence of high levels of acid in the mouth due to the types of foods consumed.
  • Brushing the teeth with excessive force or brushing when it is ill-advised to do so.
  • The Oral Health Foundation lists medical conditions like bulimia as another cause of enamel erosion. The condition raises the levels of destructive acids in the mouth.

Patients may be surprised to hear that there are times when dentists prefer that you do not brush your teeth. One of these times is brushing soon after consuming meals with high acidic foods. It is advised for patients to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing, to ensure that they are not damaging the tooth enamel. Instead of immediately brushing, patients can rinse their mouths out with water to reduce acid levels.

tooth erosion

Reasons why enamel wear is a dental concern

  • Teeth appear ‘discoloured’

The tooth consists of multiple layers and beneath the surface layer (enamel) is the dentine. When the whiter enamel thins out the yellowish dentine appears more prominently which is why teeth appear to look yellow or dull..

  • Discomfort is experienced

It is not normal to feel twinges when eating and drinking foods that are either hot or cold so when pain is experienced it signals that there is a problem that needs to be attended to.

Tooth erosion is a dental condition that is preventable as long as the patient seeks suitable professional dental care. For concerns on tooth erosion, tooth sensitivity or any other dental concern, please get in touch with an experienced dental team.

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