Many of today’s popular foods and drinks can lead to enamel loss, caused by their high acid content. Repeated exposure to acidic foods, drinks and/or acids from the stomach gradually cause your tooth enamel to dissolve. Soda, fruit, fruit juices, wine and salad dressings are all capable of causing enamel loss.
Signs of acid wear to your tooth enamel:
- Teeth appear dull and yellow. As enamel loss progresses, so do color changes.
- Teeth feel more sensitive to cold or hot, acids and sweets.
Soda, fruit juices, energy drinks and sport beverages are the leading causes of enamel loss. Energy drinks and lemonade cause the most harm of all drinks. These foods not only contain a large amount of sugar (19 tsps of sugar in a 20 oz. Mountain Dew) but they also contain acid. The phosphoric and citric acids found in these drinks lower the neutral pH of the mouth and start to dissolve the hard enamel on the teeth.
- Brewed Tea pH 7.2
- Brewed Coffee pH 5.51
- Gatorade pH 2.94
- Diet soda pH 2.47-3.67
- Coke pH 2.53
- Battery Acid pH 1.0
Calcium and phosphorus work together in the body to form healthy teeth and bones. If you ingest too much phosphorus,pH, your body excretes it along with calcium. If you do not have adequate calcium intake, the body takes it from your bones. While it is not possible to replace the missing enamel, there are some things that you can do to minimize the damage.
A MODERN DAY MYTH: Pregnancy does not cause loss of calcium in the teeth and lead to tooth loss. Pregnant women tend to eat or drink more frequently through their pregnancy and that, along with poor dental habits, can lead to dental problems.
5 Steps to Minimize Enamel Loss in Teeth
- Eliminate sodas, sugary and sports drinks. If a soft drink is consumed, it is best to drink it through a straw, minimizing exposure to the teeth.
- Drink your soda with a meal instead of drinking it alone or sipping throughout the day. Each time you drink, you expose your mouth to 20 minutes of an “acid bath” which causes tooth damage. Rinse your mouth with water after consuming an acidic drink or food before you brush your teeth. The water helps neutralize the acid in the mouth.
- Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva and maintain a healthy Ph level in your mouth.
- Brush your teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride has been proven to strengthen the existing tooth structure. Check with your dentist or dental hygienist to see if they may recommend a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste.
- Receive a professional fluoride treatment at your dentists office.
By changing your diet and habits, using fluorides and other supplements and visiting your dental professionals at Sherman Oaks Dental on a regular basis, we can work together to keep your smile healthy for a lifetime.