Your teeth are susceptible to dental erosion, find out the most damaging food and beverages to your teeth!
In part one of our series, we addressed what tooth enamel is, why it’s so important, and how your diet and dental habits affect it. In today’s post, we’ll examine more food and beverages that can impact the health of our teeth.
When you work with Dr. Burchman in his Langhorne dental office, you’ll experience patient-focused care and high tech dentistry for the ultimate dental care! Learn all about how dental enamel is impacted below.
Food, Dental Health, and Enamel
As you can see, the relationship between what you eat and dental erosion is correlated. Not only does what you eat impact your teeth but also how you care for your teeth. If you’re consuming a lot of highly processed and sugary substances and not imparting proper dental hygiene, this is a recipe for disaster. The longer the food sticks around in all the hiding places your mouth provides, the longer the bacteria can feast and cause damage.
So, watch your sugar intake and brush twice daily and floss at least once!
Acidic Food and Beverages
There are many things — some that are even healthy — that can impact your teeth and cause erosion.
- Lemon water
- Apple cider vinegar shots
- Fruit drinks
- Sports drinks
- Flavored tea
- Flavored water
- Sparkling water
- Baked goods
- Starchy foods
- Citrus fruits
A Word on Carbonated Beverages
Most carbonated beverages are inundated with sugar, but some are not (sparkling waters). What makes these beverages so damaging is the dangerous combination of sugar and carbonation. We know why sugar is so harmful to our teeth, but what exactly makes it so disadvantageous?
Most alcoholic beverages and sodas contain the sugars glucose and sucrose that invite a specific bacteria to the table — S. mutans — which is known as a key player in cavity production. It’s also important to talk about the chemical that creates carbonation because it also plays a role in the development of cavities. Carbonation results from carbon dioxide being added to the beverage and when the CO2 undergoes a chemical reaction in the mouth upon consumption, carbonic acid is created and released. This harmful acid interacts with the pH of your mouth and begins to disrupt the calcium phosphate, forming a cavity.
How to Spot Dental Erosion
When there is an influx of sugary substances and less-than-ideal dental hygiene, you’re more likely to experience dental erosion.
One of the tell-tale signs of dental erosion is tooth sensitivity. If you’re having issues consuming cold or hot things or extremely sugary substances, the sensitivity will crop up — typically in your molars, but it can happen anywhere.
Other signs include a yellowing of the teeth or an opaque and translucent appearance. Enamel only plays a small role in tooth color, but as it erodes, it can become more yellow. Your teeth may become more translucent towards the bottom where they mostly come into contact with food, and this is a sign that your enamel may be being affected.
The concern with dental erosion is, if left unaddressed, it can lead to cavities.
Enamel is vital to our dental health and protects and shields us from cavities, so it’s important to take care of it. Beyond brushing and flossing, what you consume is vital to preventing tooth decay.