Acid is the Enemy!
Tooth and enamel erosion is on the rise in the U.S.
Erosion is the loss of tooth structure without decay. People can decrease the amount of sugar they eat or drink, brush gently with a soft toothbrush and still get holes in their teeth. This may be caused by the amount of acid in the diet or acid that comes up the throat from the stomach. This acid slowly dissolves the surface of the tooth, weakening the teeth and making them sensitive, most noticeably to cold.
The popularity of soft drinks, sports drinks and even diet soft drinks have greatly contributed to this increase.
FACTS and TIPS on ACID EROSION
- Acid from the throat or stomach can be a medical condition, such as Acid Reflux or Gerd and should be treated by a physician. This acid can also cause bad breath and even throat cancer.
- Heartburn or a frequent need for antacids can be an indication of a stomach disorder.
- Vomiting can produce a very high dose of acid to the teeth. Persons with Bulimia have a very high rate of erosion.
- No matter what the cause for vomiting, it is best to NOT BRUSH for thirty minutes after. Exposure to acid makes the teeth softer and the toothbrush can wear away more tooth structure. Instead, rinse out the mouth with water immediately then rinse with a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water followed by a fluoride rinse.
- Diet drinks with less sugar can decrease tooth decay. Tooth decay or cavities are caused by exposing the bacteria in plaque to sugar, which produces acid Substituting water or milk for soft drinks is a healthier option.
- Drinking soft drinks quickly, with a meal is better that sipping on them over a long period of time. Using a straw, keeping the liquid away from the teeth is also helpful. Diluting with ice can also decrease the acidity. Rinsing with water after drinking a soda helps also.
A Brief Explanation of Acids
Tooth structure begins to dissolve at a PH of 6.7
The lower the PH level in foods and liquids, the more acidic it is. Walter White from Breaking Bad dissolved bodies with an acid of 0.5 PH. Battery acid is 1.0. Stomach acid is 1.6. Coke and Pepsi are 2.7.
Water has a PH of 7 and is neutral. Anything over 7 is considered basic and counteracts acid. Antacids are basic as are milk and cheese. That's why eating cheese with your wine is good! Wine has a PH of 2.3 -3.8. Cheese is 5.9 - 6.0. White wines are more acidic than reds.
See the links below for a PH chart of some common foods and Tooth Erosion.