Many people are concerned about tooth decay and how it will affect the strength and function of the teeth. While tooth decay can pose a significant threat to the health of the smile, it is not the only condition that can weaken the teeth. Tooth erosion can significantly break down enamel, likely causing pain, increased tooth sensitivity, and cosmetic flaws. Drs. Alex and Jason Hecht offer our Staten Island patients tooth erosion treatments in the form of restorative dentistry services, which rebuild tooth structure to restore health, function, and beauty to the teeth. In addition, by treating tooth erosion, patients can help to avoid more serious dental problems and oral health complications, which are more likely to occur when the teeth are weak and vulnerable.
What Causes Tooth Erosion?
Because so many people are familiar with tooth decay and its causes, they often confuse tooth erosion with decay. While tooth decay and tooth erosion both weaken the teeth and compromise oral health by breaking down tooth enamel, these conditions have completely different causes. Tooth erosion is not caused by the presence of bacteria in the mouth or by a buildup of plaque and tartar. Instead, the following factors are the most common causes of tooth erosion:
- High acidity: Acid is very harmful to tooth enamel and is one of the leading causes of tooth erosion. The acidic level in the mouth can become high due to a number of reasons including frequent consumption of highly acidic foods and beverages, digestive issues or eating disorders that cause stomach acids to frequently enter the mouth, or the frequent use of certain medications.
- Wear and tear: Tooth enamel is generally strong enough to hold up to a great deal of wear and tear, but some habits place an excessive amount of force and pressure on the teeth and are likely to cause erosion. These practices include nail biting, clenching, tooth grinding, and even overly aggressive tooth brushing.
- Age: Age and genetics also play a big part in tooth erosion. As patients age (and as the teeth have become worn down by years of use), enamel is likely to weaken. Some people are more susceptible to tooth erosion than others due to genetics, so erosion may develop at different times for different patients.
Treating Tooth Erosion
Treating tooth erosion is all about rebuilding lost tooth enamel in order to strengthen the teeth, improve comfort and oral function, and restore that protective barrier so that additional complications do not develop. Depending on the severity of tooth erosion, any of the following restorative treatments may be used to address tooth erosion:
- Dental bonding
- Dental crowns
- Porcelain veneers
Schedule an Appointment
Drs. Alex and Jason Hecht want every patient to benefit from a smile that looks good, feels good, and functions properly. If tooth erosion or other oral health problems have compromised the integrity of your smile, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to learn how we can get you back the healthy, beautiful smile that you deserve. We look forward to hearing from you!