Acidic Foods and How They Affect My Oral Health
June 23rd, 2021
Everyone knows that sugar causes tooth decay, but did you know that acidic foods can be just as harmful? From citruses to wine, highly acidic foods and beverages can erode, or wear away your teeth, leaving you with tooth sensitivity, decay, cavities, and discoloration. Here’s all you need to know about acidic foods and how they affect your oral health.
Acidic Foods and Your Oral Health
Repeated and prolonged exposure to acids in foods and beverages can lead to the outer protective layer of your teeth called the enamel breaking down and eroding. That exposes the underlying material, called the dentin, which leaves the teeth vulnerable to plaque and bacteria attacks and increases the risk of tooth decay. In some extreme cases, acid damage can result in tooth loss. Tooth erosion is permanent, so make sure you’re mindful of the foods you consume.
Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Enamel Erosion
As the enamel wears, it exposes the dentin. That causes tooth sensitivity, characterized by pain or discomfort in response to triggers, such as consuming cold or hot foods and beverages. Discoloration is another indication of acid erosion because the more the enamel wears, the more the yellowish, underlying layer of dentin becomes visible.
Other signs of enamel erosion included teeth that look thinner or smaller, front teeth that are slightly translucent near the edges, small cracks or roughness at the edges of the teeth, and tiny dents on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Patients may also notice that their fillings appear to be rising out of their teeth.
Minimizing the Effects of Acidic Foods on Your Oral Health
It’s best to save acidic foods and beverages for mealtimes rather than snacking on them all through the day. Consuming them side by side with other foods will help neutralize the acids. Moreover, sipping water alongside or after your acidic treat will help dilute and wash the acids away. It’s important to wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth because acids soften the tooth enamel, leaving it vulnerable to damage.
Healthy Habits for Healthy Smiles
Make sure to brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and floss regularly. Don’t forget to visit Avalon Dental Care for your routine preventive dental exams and cleanings to ensure any dental problem is diagnosed and treated early on. We may also recommend a fluoride treatment to strengthen your enamel and make it more resistant to acid attacks.
Quality Preventive Dentistry in El Segundo and Lomita
Visit Avalon Dental Care to learn more about how your diet affects your oral health. Our team is proud to offer quality preventive services for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!