Erosion is a condition on the rise. It used to be rare, but is now
common, especially among boys age 10-20. It happens when acid destroys
the enamel. Some of these kids have done 60 years of wear on their
teeth in 5 years.
Molar with acid erosion.This teen-ager has the enamel of a 65-year old.
Tooth enamel is
extremely hard, but can dissolve in acid. You can get acid erosion from:
- Soft drinks, and also
juices, sports drinks and iced tea taken too often
- Sour Candies
- Chewable Vitamins
- Stomach acid due to
Soft Drinks-. Did you ever notice your
teeth feeling slightly rough when you rub them together after having a
coke? The enamel has been slightly etched - making it rough - by the
phosphoric acid that is one of the ingredients. Carbonation itself adds
acidity as well as fizz, because the carbon dioxide creates carbonic
acid in solution. Soft drinks are never great for your teeth, but if
you do have them, make it occasionally only, not daily.
Whatever you do don't sip on them for a long time or swish them around
to dissolve the bubbles in your mouth.
These are some examples of drinks that are
acid enough to do damage if used in excess.
There are many other similar drinks that cause the same damage, but I
have not posted images due to space constraints.
wide variety of snack drinks and food - including many natural juices -
have surprisingly low pH (in other words, they're acidic). Tooth enamel
is mostly calcium, and acid will dissolve it the same way descaler
solution dissolves the scale in the bottom of your kettle. And it takes
surprisingly little acidity - anything with a pH below 5 can do it.
Teenagers are the most frequent victims of acid damage because they
drink a lot of pop and juices, and tend to sip and swish it in their
worst erosion comes when people swish or hold the soft drink in their
mouth to dissolve the bubbles a bit. And here's a statistic
for you: North American women drink more Diet Coke than water!
You may download a good
article on Acid Erosion from Soft Drinks here. It includes charts
of relative acid levels of different drinks. It’s
a pdf file.
Smith's website has a very good list as well.
early erosion in 1999
Erosion from soft drink overuse 1 year later
Fruit juices at full strength are
quite acid, as are iced tea and sports drinks. A glass of orange juice
has all the sugar and acid from 4-6 oranges, in a much more
concentrated form. Kids who drink 3-4 glasses of juice a day get up to
36 spoons of sugar and a lot of acid from this.The answer here is moderation!
Have juice with meals, and only water, milk or
very dilute juice between. If you drink a lot, it's got to be water or
very dilute drinks.
Acid foods can destroy enamel
very fast. Sour candies are terrible causes of erosion. Watch
out for these! There are now dozens of different kinds of extremely
acid sour candies on the market, and we are seeing massive damage to
enamel due to them. These should only be eaten in very moderate doses,
not a pack at a time.
These and many others are all acid enough
to really wreck your teeth.
This one even says "Try the only sour
candy strong enough to be officially proclaimed HAZARDOUS!"
are three critical factors that determine the amount of harm dietary
acidity can do to your teeth:
* Acidity. The lower-pH drinks, like Pop and lemonade, are the worst
* Frequency. Anyone can have a Coke once in a while without harm - its
what you drink habitually that matters.
* Exposure time. Sipping acidic drinks slowly (or, even worse, swishing
it about in your mouth before swallowing) gives it more time to attack
your tooth enamel To minimize the effect, drink it quickly and try to
keep it off your teeth!
Vitamin C chewable tablets can hurt your teeth with
prolongued exposure - this is the reason we suggest swallowing without
sucking on the tablets. (Vitamin C is Ascorbic Acid, and they shouldn't
even sell the chewable type in our opinion)
Acid reflux from the
People with Bulemia tend to burn out the enamel inside their front
teeth. Other people have acid reflux that seeps up from the stomach
during the day. This condition needs to be treated by your medical
Acid Erosion from reflux
There is an excellent
article on acid erosion at Dr. Steve Hendry's website. , and this page was
co-written with Dr. Hendry's assistance. Dr Kent
Smith's website also has a good page on this.