Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Are you dissolving your teeth


The tops of these teeth look like melting popsicles.

It's not decay - the enamel has been 

dissolved away  by acid.

These days the number of patients with significant damage to their tooth enamel has rocketted. We see many people with the enamel on the tops or sides of their teeth perforated or completely dissolved away. The damage can be severe, creating severe wear, and tooth sensitivity that can ultimately require extensive treatment - to repair. Repair is generally done using composit resin or crowns and veneers in more severe cases.
Among the chief culprits: fizzy drinks ,energy drinks, acidic fruit juices, fruit and any type of acid food, which now laden the supermarket shelves like never before ! Drug abuse can also cause severe enamel erosion.
Diet  pop? Orange Juice? That's right. These and similar drinks can do tremendous harm to your teeth. And it's not the sugar - it's the acid.
Did you ever notice your teeth feeling slightly rough when you rub them together after having a coke? The enamel has been slightly etched - making it rough - by the phosphoric acid that is one of the ingredients. Natural products like lemons and orange juice is also acidic because of the citric and ascorbic acid they contain. (Even vitamin C can hurt your teeth with prolongued exposure - this is the reason we suggest swallowing without sucking on the tablets.) Never brush your teeth after taking any type of acid food or drink - that would mean scrubbing off your tooth enamel and spitting it out wait several hours at least or till next morning.
Very many snack drinks and food - including many natural juices - have low pH (in other words.. acidic). Tooth enamel is mostly calcium, and acid will dissolve it the same way descaler solution dissolves the scale in the bottom of your kettle. And it takes surprisingly little acidity - anything with a pH below 5 can do it.  Teenagers are the most frequent victims of acid damage because they drink a lot of pop and juices, and tend to sip and swish it in their mouths. Many people drink more fizzy and juice than water!

pH Range
Battery Acid

2.4 - 3.3
Black Tea
4.0 - 5.0
2.3 - 3.8
Ginger Ale
2.0 - 4.0
Root Beer
Lemons / Limes (or juice)
1.8 - 2.4
Pineapple (or juice)
3.3 - 4.1
2.4 - 3.4
3.1 - 3.7

Typical pH (acidity) for some common foods and beverages. (Battery acid is there for comparison.)
There are 4 critical factors that determine the amount of harm dietary acidity can do to your teeth:
Acidity. The lower-pH drinks, like Pop and lemonade, are the worst offenders
Frequency.  Anyone can have a Coke once in a while without harm - its what you drink habitually that matters.
Exposure time. Sipping acidic drinks slowly (or, even worse, swishing it about in your mouth before swallowing) gives it more time to attack your tooth enamel . To minimize the effect, drink it quickly and through a straw!
Brushing. don´t brush your teeth-wait several hours or till next morning .Clean teeth before breakfast .
Here are examples of severely eroded shrunken teeth:
Article is provided by Dr Karen Gardner from Clinica dental la Plaza, Javea
Tel 96 646 1120 Please visit our clinic if you think you have acid erosion and we can advise you and repair where necessary.