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Preventing Enamel Erosion
Aug 2018
Dr Shweta Hinduja

Dental erosion is the loss of tooth structure through acid attack, not involving bacteria. The acidic attack to the tooth leads to an irreversible loss of dental hard tissue that is the enamel and dentin. Enamel is the outermost and toughest part of the tooth measuring only a few millimetres in thickness with high resistance against wear and tear.

What Causes Enamel Erosion
The aetiology of enamel erosion is multifactorial and the most influential factors are diet and acid consumption. A host of soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, salad dressings and citrus fruits contain a lot of acid. Over and regular consumption of acidic beverages leads to degeneration of teeth - softening the enamel. Tooth may appear smooth and shiny but it would have lost its morphology such as reduced height or width. Some common food items in our daily diet like fruit juices, vinegar and iced tea contain citric, phosphoric and acetic acid with a pH level lower than 4.5 known to be highly erosive.

Fluoride And Enamel Erosion
There has been lesser evidence that fluoride helps in erosion. Fluoride in the form of dentifrices, with concentration more than 1100 ppm and in the form of CPP-ACP (GC Tooth mousse) has been found effective. In case a person is more prone to enamel erosion due to other systematic conditions, high concentration of fluoride and laser therapy is effective.