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Vancouver, WA 98665
Acid in Food and Beverages can Harm
Symptoms of acid erosion
"cupped" areas on cusp tips on premolars or molars and sometimes
larger areas of enamel loss on front or back surfaces of teeth.
The symptoms typically occur over years, unless a patient adopts an
especially destructive habit.
Causes of acid
include frequent exposure of the teeth to acid in food and beverages.
It has become very popular in our culture to consume beverages
non-stop. Many of us sip a beverage all day and in to the
evening, at a desk, in a car, in front of a computer, playing video
games, or attending a sporting event. Every sip of a beverage or
nibble of a food alters conditions in your mouth for up to half an
hour. Look at the labels of your favorite items, and you are
likely to find high concentrations of phosphoric acid, citric acid,
nitric acid and more. Carbonated beverages are usually contain
acid, and so do many sports drinks, coffee, tea, fruit juices, etc.
Those who swim in chlorinated pools frequently can suffer from
exposure to chlorine in the water. Your dentist can tell you if
acid erosion is present during a routine exam. Additional causes of
acid erosion include eating disorders, GERD (gastro-esophogeal reflux
Advanced cases of
can cause severe loss of tooth structure, where the teeth become
substantially shorter, causing the bite to close, and your chin can
actually get closer to your nose. Some patients lose most of the
enamel on effected tooth surfaces, so chewing surfaces of back teeth
lose the cusps and grooves resulting in flat chewing surfaces.
Extreme cases require restoration of all of the teeth with crowns or
Prevention of acid
erosion is very
easy - simply reduce the frequency of exposure to acid in your
diet. So, instead of gradually sipping that 32-ounce cup of diet
pop over the course of several hours, reduce your dose to a single
small cup during a meal, and skip the sipping. Finish your
juice, coffee, or tea during a break instead of spreading it out.
Brush with baking soda to neutralize the acid after an exposure.