From the bare gums of early infancy to the crumbling, stained teeth of old age, there is no doubt that, without constant care, one’s teeth will suffer. One would logically assume that bone is the hardest structure of the body, but surprisingly, the anatomy of the tooth proves that in fact, enamel is just that. Despite enamel being translucent, meaning that light irradiates through it, it is extremely vulnerable to deterioration through chewing, pressure and temperature changes.
Unlike dental caries (decay), tooth erosion is not a disease, and is not caused by bacteria, but occurs when acid dissolves the hard tissue of the tooth. The frequency and length of time that teeth are exposed to acids makes a difference. It is not by chance that nature created saliva to be alkaline, so that it helps to dilute and neutralize acids.
Beverages are some of the largest culprits. Some fruit drinks are more erosive that battery acid. Soft drinks having pH levels as low as 2.4 (remember 7 on the pH scale is neutral) are not “enamel friendly”. Lemon and lime flavoured drinks contain citric acid, whereas colas contain phosphoric acid.
Sugar-free drinks marketed as “zero” or for those on diet, are by no means free of acidic content.
Wine, having pH levels as low as 3, is potentially erosive, which can be an occupation hazard for wine tasters. Eating a piece of calcium rich cheese whilst drinking wine is a deterrent to this.
All drinks containing caffeine increase the likelihood of erosion by reducing saliva production.
Other causes exist too, like chewing ice, biting nails and pens, clenching and grinding the teeth, improper flossing, and the unfortunate condition, Bulimia, which encourages forced vomiting, resulting in high acidic levels, which hit the enamel.
The sound habit of drinking lemon juice or apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach is not problematic, as long as the mouth is well rinsed thereafter.
If this all sounds too depressing, preventative measures do exist;
Talk to one’s dentist about fluoride and calcium treatments, and get the expert’s advice on dental issues.
Chew sugar free gum, as this action encourages the flow of saliva.
Drink ample water, particularly between meals.
If addicted to soft drinks, drink through a straw to lessen the amount of liquid within the mouth.
Some of the typical indications of tooth erosion are chalkiness of the surface, pitting and indentations on the tooth’s surface.
Lastly, how discriminating are our readers regarding toothpaste?
No more are these products dreary and merely functional. Today’s clinically tested toothpastes may have an infusion of herbs like aloe vera, fennel, tea tree oil, camomile and lately even spices like cardamon, cinnamon and clove.
Matsimela Home Spa too, strives to have natural and non-irritating ingredients included in beauty and body care products. Take care.