Call For A Healthy Smile
We'll Have You
Smiling Like You Mean It

What Causes Tooth Erosion?

October 15, 2021

Dental erosion occurs when the surface of your teeth wears away due to the acids you eat or drink or those that come up from your stomach. Visit an expert in family dentistry in Aurora, CO, and have your teeth checked for possible erosion.

These acids have the potential to dissolve the crystals that make up your teeth, resulting in tooth surface erosion.

They can also soften the tooth's surface, making it more susceptible for abrasion or tooth grinding to wear away. This is referred to as acid wear.

Closeup of a person getting their teeth checked Family Dentistry Aurora CO

What Is Tooth Enamel?

The enamel is the tooth's thin outer layer. The most challenging tissue in the human body is this strong shell. The crown of the tooth, which is visible outside of the gums, is covered in enamel.

Light may pass through enamel because it is transparent. The dentin, however, is the major section of the tooth that determines the color of your teeth, whether white, off-white, grey, or yellowish.

Coffee, tea, cola, red wine, fruit juices, and cigarettes can discolor your teeth's enamel. Routine cleaning and polishing appointments with your dentist may help eliminate most surface stains and keep your teeth healthy.

Causes Of Tooth Erosion

Stomach Acids

The stomach incorporates a range of powerful acids that aid in the digestion of meals. These stomach acids might enter your mouth as a result of vomiting or reflux.

Stomach acids are highly potent and can cause significant tooth damage. People who have bulimia, morning sickness, or reflux (which can develop without warning) may encounter this issue.

Foods And Beverages

Many of the foods and beverages we consume are acidic. One explanation for this is because acidic foods are tasty. The following are some examples of acid-rich meals and drinks:

  • Energizing beverages
  • Fruits with a citrus flavor (lemons, limes, oranges)
  • Lemon-flavored kombucha beverages or teas
  • Most fruit liquids fruit-flavored lollipops
  • Non-alcoholic beverages (sugar-free and sugar-containing)
  • Pre-mixed alcoholic beverages
  • The majority of cordials
  • Hydrating waters
  • Tablets of vitamin C
  • Vinegar

Food acids are frequently used in processed foods and beverages. You can detect whether food acids have been added to meals and drinks by looking at the ingredient list. The ingredients are listed in the order in which they appear in the dish, with the most prominent appearing first. The higher the number of food acids toward the top of the list, the more acid the product contains.

Watch out for the dietary acids 330 (citric acid), 331 (sodium citrate), and 338 (phosphoric acid), which are particularly damaging to teeth. Speak with your dental practitioner for further information.

Dental Erosion Symptoms

Loss of the tooth's surface, which results in a smooth, glossy look, indicates dental erosion. Due to dental decay, any exposed tooth root (dentine) can also become sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet meals and beverages.

The enamel may wear away to disclose the underlying dentine in cases of extensive dental erosion; these regions appear as yellow depressions on the tooth surface. If the surrounding tooth surface is eroding, fillings may start to become more visible.

Dental Erosion Complications

If left untreated, dental erosion can result in the loss of the tooth's surface. Fillings, veneers, crowns, and root canal treatment may be required when tooth structure is lost. When you see indications of tooth erosion, it's critical to figure out what's causing it and how to fix it.

Dental Erosion Prevention

By reducing acid contact with the teeth, dental erosion can be avoided. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Consume a nutritious, well-balanced diet.
  • Instead of soft drinks or juice, consume fluoridated water.
  • Rather than sipping fruit juice, eat it.
  • Fruit should be consumed at mealtimes rather than in between meals.
  • Reduce the amount of acidic food and drink you consume, as well as the amount of time it spends in your mouth.
  • Visit a dentist to help if you're having problems with reflux or vomiting.
  • Vitamin C pills should not be chewed. Take vitamin C pills that are ingested whole if necessary.
  • To increase saliva flow, eat sugar-free chewing gum after meals. Saliva has a critical role in preventing tooth erosion.
  • Consider utilizing dental products that include tin (II) fluoride (stannous fluoride). According to recent research, stannous fluoride is adequate.

If you've been exposed to powerful acids, you can assist neutralizing the acid by doing the following:

  • Washing your mouth with fluoride mouthwash or water
  • Eating dairy products
  • Washing your mouth with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or mouth rinse (one teaspoon baking soda in a glass of water)

The following are some suggestions for reducing tooth wear:

  • Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Avoid using toothpaste that is harsh (some whitening toothpaste and charcoal-based toothpaste are more abrasive).
  • Before cleaning your teeth, make sure you've neutralized any acids.
  • If you grind your teeth at sleep, use a custom-made dental splint.


Saliva is a great natural anti-erosion defense. Saliva can wash acids out of your mouth and into your stomach, neutralize acid, and restore tooth minerals in the early stages of tooth softening.  

However, it will not be able to replace the missing tooth surface. A reduction in saliva flow might worsen dental erosion (dry mouth).

Maintain a healthy level of hydration to enhance your saliva. Drink enough fluoridated water to avoid dehydration, which can limit the quantity of saliva you produce.

You may be at greater risk of tooth erosion if you have a dry mouth all of the time. Consult your dentist to figure out what's causing the problem.

Factors That Cause Reduced Salivary Flow

Reduced saliva (or dry mouth syndrome) can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Medication – certain drugs can impact your salivary glands, reducing the quantity of saliva they can produce, resulting in a dry mouth.
  • Dehydration – working in a dry environment and not rehydrating frequently enough can cause a reduction in saliva production.
  • Caffeine, which may be found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and cola beverages, can also dehydrate the body and limit saliva production.
  • Sjogren's syndrome is one example of sickness or ailment that affects the saliva glands.
Closeup of a person's mouth Family Dentistry Aurora CO

Looking for an Expert in Family Dentistry in Aurora, CO?

If the surface of your teeth has eroded, the missing surface may need to be restored with filler materials or crowns. It's critical to see an expert in family dentistry in Aurora, CO, regularly so that they can detect dental erosion early, evaluate the reason, and work with you to develop ways to avoid future tooth wear.

Head over to Makowski Dental. We have specialists that can help provide solutions to all your dental needs. Call us today!

At Makowski Dental

It's All About You
Comfortable Environment

We want you to feel relaxed at every appointment and we start with a warm welcoming atmosphere.

Exceptional Staff

Our staff members are the some of the best in their field and provide quality care to every patient.

TMJ & TMD Dentist

Dr. Makowski is an expert in TMJ & TMD treatment and will find the solution to your discomfort.

Over 35 Years of Experience

Dr. James W. Makowski is dedicated to providing his patients with innovative, high quality dental care.