Dangers of Tooth Erosion By Nicholas Pournaras, D.M.D. on March 26, 2012

Tooth erosion is a condition that can affect both children and adults. Damage inflicted by tooth erosion cannot be reversed, making it an incredibly dangerous condition. Tooth enamel is the outer covering of the tooth and is quite strong. High levels of acidic content in the mouth destroy the enamel of the teeth, resulting in tooth erosion. Slowly over time, the constant exposure to acids in the mouth cause permanent damage to the teeth. Tooth erosion not only causes irreversible damage to the teeth, but is also painful.

Causes of Tooth Erosion

Many factors contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel, including:

  • A diet high in acidic beverages (energy drinks, carbonated beverages, fruit juices, etc.)
  • A diet high in acidic foods (lemons, eggs, sour cream, tomatoes, processed food, sweets, etc.)
  • Medical conditions (Gastroesophageal reflux disease, heartburn, acid reflux, etc.)
  • Medications (aspirin, antihistamines, etc.)
  • Dry mouth


Teeth with weakened tooth enamel are more susceptible to tooth decay and cavities. The hygienists at our Columbia cosmetic dentistry practice and Dr. Rick Pournaras cannot stress the importance of preventing tooth erosion enough. With changes in diet and good oral hygiene, it is possible to prevent tooth erosion from causing irreversible damage to your teeth. Many of our patients are worried about the devastating effects of tooth erosion, and want to know what steps they can take to prevent tooth erosion altogether. Here are some simple ways to keep your teeth healthy and to prevent tooth erosion:

  • Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled tooth brush
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride tooth paste
  • Rinse your mouth with water after consuming high acidic beverages or foods
  • Wait at least twenty minutes after consuming high acidic beverages or foods before brushing your teeth
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Eat and drink high acidic beverages and foods in moderation
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups
  • Schedule regular professional dental cleanings
  • Always seek immediate dental treatment once an issue arises
  • Do not use any tobacco products
  • Chew sugar-free gum, especially if you suffer from dry mouth

Dangers of Tooth Erosion

Devastating side effects of tooth erosion that are both physically and aesthetically painful include:

  • Sensitivity: slight twinges of pain when teeth are exposed to hot or cold temperatures or certain foods
  • Severe sensitivity: when tooth erosion has progressed, it can cause severe tooth pain when teeth are exposed to hot or cold temperatures or certain foods
  • Discoloration: when tooth enamel erodes, the dentin underneath becomes exposed, making teeth appear yellow (slightly yellow to dark yellow)
  • Cupping: the teeth have an unattractive dented appearance
  • Rounded: teeth will appear shiny or have a sandblasted appearance
  • Cracks and chips: cracks and chips are more likely with weakened tooth enamel

Dental Crowns

Tooth erosion does not have to keep you from having a beautiful smile. At our cosmetic dental practice in Columbia, dental crowns restore beauty and strength to the smiles of our patients. A dental crown is placed over a damaged tooth to restore its shape, size, and appearance. A “cap” is placed over the damaged tooth; the cap fully encases the visible portion of the tooth at and above the gumline. Dental crowns are an ideal and inconspicuous treatment for the aesthetically unpleasing effects of tooth erosion.

Contact Columbia Smiles Today

Our qualified staff is happy to answer any questions you may have. To learn more about how you can achieve the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve, please contact Columbia Smiles today.

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Nick Pournaras, DMD

Columbia Smiles Nick Pournaras, DMD

Dr. Nick Pournaras, DMD and the team of dental professionals at Columbia Smiles in Columbia, SC, are dedicated to helping our community improve their oral health and rejuvenate their smiles. Dr. Pournaras is a member of a number of professional dental organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • Academy of Comprehensive Esthetics
  • South Carolina Dental Association

To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call us at (803) 888-6504 today.

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