Dental erosion occurs when acid or wear and tear strips the enamel from the surface of your teeth. Your enamel is the protective layer on your teeth that creates a layer between the inner portions of your teeth and bacteria or other harmful substances. If erosion damages your enamel, you are more likely to develop tooth decay or experience tooth sensitivity.
What are the Causes?
There are several things that can cause your enamel to disappear, including diet and age. As we age, our enamel can naturally thin. Additionally, you can lose small amounts of enamel as you use your teeth to eat and speak.
Much like a mountain eroding over time due to weather, your teeth can erode from everyday use. Along with use, your diet can affect your enamel as well. If you consume foods or beverages that have high acid content, you can strip your enamel faster.
Without your enamel, your teeth have a hard time stopping bacteria from destruction. Therefore, you need treatment options to stop the decay.
For small areas of decay, your dentist may suggest a dental filling. A cavity is a small pit of decay beginning in your enamel. Once the decay starts, you will need treatment from a dentist to keep it from spreading. If the area is small enough, your dentist can use a composite resin after they remove the decay.
If the area is larger than a small cavity, your dentist may use a dental crown. A dental crown is a “cap”—typically made of porcelain—that provides structural support to your teeth. For example, they can use a dental crown if you currently have decay or if you have thinning enamel.
A dental crown can support the stress of chewing and speaking, which is why they are great for molars. Sometimes, dental bonding or tooth bonding is not strong enough to cover large areas on the back teeth. However, dental crowns are much more durable.
Dental bonding or tooth bonding is a type of composite resin that can act as enamel. Once it hardens, it can protect your teeth from harmful bacteria and other harmful aspects of your diet. If your dentist identifies areas where your enamel is thinning, they can suggest the use of dental bonding.
One of the many benefits of bonding is that it is tooth-colored. This means that the bonding will blend with the color of your teeth. In fact, dentists can use dental bonding as a way to whiten stubborn stains.
If the erosion is severe, your dentist may suggest dental veneers. Dental veneers are thin shells of porcelain that your dentist will place on the front surfaces of your teeth. Because they are made of porcelain, they can withstand the effects of acid. This means that they can protect your teeth from bacteria. Additionally, dentists use dental veneers for many cosmetic procedures.