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Acids Do More Than Erode Your Enamel


Posted on 11/10/2019 by Gilbert Family Dentistry
Acids Do More Than Erode Your EnamelConsuming too much acidic food over time can cause discoloration to the tooth, which may or may not point to enamel erosion.

While the excessive consumption of acidic foods can certainly cause plaque build-up, leading to enamel decay, acids in food can also mix with extant plaque and cause a yellow, sometimes brown discoloration of the enamel.

The Problem with Enamel Erosion

Enamel erosion itself is a huge issue, and not just because it causes cavities. Enamel erosion exposes the sensitive dentin, making vulnerable the innermost crux of the tooth—the pulp. This can cause great pain in the jaw and, left untreated, can even lead to gum and bone disease.

Some commonly consumed, acidic foods include coffee, tomatoes, wine, orange juice, pickles, yogurt, fish, sugar, oats/barley; some fruits, like pineapples, grapes, blueberries, apples, and peaches; some vegetables, like cabbage, mushrooms, corn, and broccoli. These are only some acidic foods; the full list is much longer. As you can see, many of these foods are considered healthy and should be consumed as part of a healthy diet. Many acidic foods have benefits for the teeth and the rest of the body, but can be consumed in smaller amounts so as to preserve the integrity of the teeth and other bodily tissues.

Excess consumption of acidic foods can also cause dry mouth, which contributes to tooth decay. Not salivating enough makes it difficult to continually wash away harmful bacteria in the mouth. Salivation helps prevent plaque build-up, which leads to tooth decay.

Preventing Harmful Effects of Acid on Teeth

It is important to consume acidic foods in moderation. Make sure to maintain a good dental hygiene regimen, brushing and flossing twice a day. It is also important to continue coming to your twice-yearly checkups and cleanings, as our dentists can assess any potential damage to the teeth at these visits.

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