How to prevent your teeth from disappearing due to dental erosion
We’ve put together a handy tooth-erosion watch plan. Are you:
W Watching that you drink enough pure water?
A Avoiding acid drinks when you are dehydrated?
T Tasting fresh fruit and vegetables?
C Caffeine conscious and chewing sugar-free gum after meals?
H Healthy enough to produce saliva for the protection of your teeth?
Water – A large glass of warm water before breakfast and start with some fresh fruit. Drink 1 litre of water before exercises or outdoor activities (e.g. gardening). Saliva production is significantly reduced by dehydration. Keep a glass of water by your bed if you suffer from a dry mouth at night.
Avoid – chewing Vitamin C tablets (Food acid 300), soft drinks, acidic drinks, fruit and sports drinks (Fruit Acid 331), wine or cola (Food acid 338), but particularly when you are dehydrated. Dehydration can occur with exercises and outdoor activities, consumption of alcohol and with certain medications. Alcohol may also change your sleep pattern. This may increase teeth grinding/clenching during your sleep.
Taste – and eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Have variety in the fruit you choose. Avoid grapefruit only diets! Paw paws and melons are high in flavour and water. Apples and bananas are particularly pleasant with cereals. Tomatoes and other vegetables with your eggs and bacon in the morning are good for salivary stimulation.
Cheese/chewing gum/being caffeine conscious – Cheeses are recommended for people with dental erosion because they contain proteins that protect against dental decay. By virtue of their calcium content, they aid remineralization of enamel corroded by acids. Caffeine is best avoided but if a “caffeine lift” is needed, it should not be derived from cola drinks. Try hot chocolate, tea, chocolate milk or coffee instead. Watch the sugar content though. Chewing a sugar-free gum should be encouraged both to stimulate your saliva to flow and to help clear away any acids. The extra saliva produced during chewing gum can help remineralise sensitive teeth. Saliva should be swallowed to protect your eosophagus and stomach from acids particularly if you have a history of stomach ulcers.
Health – Do you suffer from indigestion/heart burn/eating disorders? Have your damaged teeth restored with new dentine bonding tooth-coloured composite resins. A protective night guard worn during sleep will protect the fillings against sleep bruxism (night time tooth grinding and clenching). If there is inadequate saliva, the damage from bruxism will be worse on your teeth. The production of saliva, so essential for the health of your teeth, is affected by many medical conditions (e.g. alcoholism, allergic rhinitis, asthma, ADHD, depression, diabetes, eating disorders, high blood pressure, glaucoma, chronic pain, sleep apnoea, smoking) and medications used to treat them (e.g. anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, high blood pressure medications, antihistamines, radiation therapy). We will discuss these with you from the information recorded in your Medical History. It is critical to avoid any acidic foods/drinks after taking any medication that causes a dry mouth.