We often have patients that tell us that they have developed painful teeth sensitivity to hot and cold after a change in their diet and lifestyle over a number of years. Often times they blame the ageing process but a key culprit of late is the continuous consumption of water with lemon and salads with lemon dressing. Whilst we acknowledge that there are health benefits namely better digestion and metabolism from lemons, consuming a lot of fruit acids can cause a gradual degradation of teeth enamel.
What is tooth erosion?
Tooth erosion happens when acids wear away the enamel on teeth and it is irreversible.
Symptoms of tooth erosion
The most obvious sign is the loss of the surface of the tooth leading to a smooth, shiny appearance. Tooth erosion can also make any exposed tooth root (dentine) sensitive to hot and cold and for patients with fillings, the fillings become more prominent.
How can you prevent this?
Dental erosion is irreversible. Teeth that are severely eroded will require either fillings, veneers or crowns to protect the remaining tooth. Prevention is best by:
- Drink fluoridated water instead of juices or soft drinks.
- Reduce how often you eat or drink anything acidic. Moderation of water with lemons.
- Use a straw if you are drinking something acidic.
- Using sugar-free chewing gum after meals can promote saliva flow which helps combat the acids
- having a piece of cheese or glass of milk