Here are some myths and delusions concerning erosion of dental enamel
1 Erosion of dental enamel is not a disease but a visual defect. No. Erosion of dental enamel is a disease. Moreover, it is an unpleasant one. It has its symptoms, causes, peculiarities of development, and stages. Like any disease, erosion of dental enamel needs proper treatment. What does this disease look like? In fact erosion of dental enamel is melting of the upper layer of the tooth consisting of dental enamel and dentin. Visually erosion of dental enamel is an oval (or round) defect of dental enamel located on the most prominent part of the tooth. In most cases the bottom of erosion is bright, solid, and smooth.
If you leave the disease without proper treatment your tooth will soon lose all its enamel as well as a part of dentin. In case of caries defects on teeth look like a black rough stain. Defects caused by erosion are smooth and bright. So as you see not only caries can cause loss of dental enamel and dentin.
2. Erosion of dental enamel has no other symptoms but external ones. It is true only when the disease is at its early stage. If you let the disease develop you are likely to face another unpleasant symptom hypersensitivity. You may feel pain when cleaning your teeth. Pain can be also caused by various chemical compounds as well as cold air. The stage of hypersensitivity has 2 types. The fists type presupposes pain caused by any irritant. It is a sign that destruction of the tooth is a fast one. The second type presupposes less pain and slower destruction of the tooth. After a while our tooth will change its color. This process is called pigmentation. Your smile will lose its charm and beauty. Mind that the second type of erosion can be easily replaced by the first (active) one. There are 3 stages of erosion of dental enamel: initial, medial, and severe.
3. Erosion of dental enamel is a quick process affecting all teeth. Erosion of dental enamel is a very slow-developing disease. It can take from 10 to 15 years for it to develop. Middle-aged people are more prone to erosion of dental enamel. Erosion usually attacks symmetrical surfaces of lateral and central incisors of the maxilla. Premolar teeth and canine teeth of the mandible are also prone to erosion of dental enamel. The disease has a regularity the older a person is the more teeth are affected by erosion.
4. Erosion of dental enamel is a disease of middle-aged people. Nowadays people are affected by numerous hostilities. Moreover, drinking enamel-aggressive beverages increases the chance to get erosion even with those who are 18-25 years old. Older people are less affected by external factors. This process is called mineralization. Older peoples teeth contain more minerals. That is why they can better stand attacks.
5. it is not clear what causes erosion of dental enamel. Erosion of dental enamel has its own causes. They can be divided into 3 groups endocrinic, mechanic and chemical. Here is an example of chemical cause of erosion: when you drink or eat something sour your dental enamel becomes softer. In most cases acid balance will be restored after a while with the help of saliva. In case you like sour food and eat it too often it will be problematic to restore your acid balance quickly. Vegetarian diet is a marvelous combination of sour food as 60% of it is fruit. Dentists believe that the main cause of erosion of dental enamel is eating too much citrous fruit (as well as drinking citrous juices), pickled food and drinking apple juice. Medicines containing high doses of vitamin C also belong to chemical causes of erosion of dental enamel.
If you clean your teeth in an aggressive fashion you may also provoke erosion of dental enamel. It is not recommended to get used to tooth powders and abrasive toothpastes as they can cause demineralization of your teeth. Eventually, demineralization is likely to cause erosion of dental enamel.
One of the main endocrinic causes of erosion of dental enamel is hyperthyroidism and other disfunctions of thyroid glands. The main symptoms of hyperthyroidism are excessive salivation combined with lowered viscosity of saliva. It is quite natural that these factors can influence the condition of teeth in a bad way.
Dentists have conducted a series of experiments to find out the main factors that can cause erosion of dental enamel. As a result it has been proven that those who suffer hyperthyroidism are more likely to suffer erosion of dental enamel than those whose thyroid glands function properly. In about 50% of cases erosion of dental enamel is connected with diseases and dysfunctions of thyroid glands.
6. Erosion of dental enamel cannot be treated. Remember that treatment of dental erosion is a lasting process including different measures. First of all it is necessary to remove pigmentation. Then remineralising therapy follows. Eventually the tooth will be filled with glass ionomer resin or composite materials. Remineralising therapy presupposes applying substances containing calcium and fluorine to the surface of the damaged teeth. To get a positive result one has to do at least 10 procedures. If the patient has erosion of dental enamel in its active stage more procedures may be needed. Physiotherapy and home procedures are also recommended.
Mind that filling will be simply useless in case you did not do enough procedures. It is caused by the fact that the filling will not fit closely. Sooner or later it will fall out. If erosion of dental enamel has ruined a considerable part of the surface of the tooth you should really think about using dental crowns.
7. Prevention is useless against erosion of dental enamel. To prevent erosion of dental enamel one should avoid bleaching teeth and using abrasive or bleaching toothpastes. Moreover, it is recommended to use a moderately hard toothbrush. Do not drink too much sour beverages and juices.
Keep in mind that hot liquids are very aggressive towards dental enamel. In fact, erosion is a chemical reaction. That is why high temperature can catalyze the process of erosion of dental enamel.
Drink cold beverages as they do not ruin dental enamel. It is recommended to eat a little slice of cheese after meals in order to neutralize aggressive acids in the mouth cavity. Use a chewing gum to increase salivation. Use mouthwashes after meals. Try to use toothpastes containing fluorine and calcium. In case you have any problems with thyroid glands it is recommended to turn to an experienced endocrinologist.