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Academy of General Dentistry Launches Campaign to Focus on Tooth Erosion
Date:9/4/2007

Repeated exposure to acidic drinks and foods permanently destroys enamel

CHICAGO, Sept. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fruit, yogurt, citric and soft drinks, may seem like harmless snacks and beverages, but improper consumption and overuse may lead to devastating and permanent damage to teeth. It's known as tooth erosion, and an online member poll conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) revealed that dentists feel tooth erosion is more common today compared to five years ago.

To help the public better understand tooth erosion as well as find the most effective treatment, the AGD recently launched a new print public service advertisement (PSA) campaign to educate the public about this issue. The AGD also created a special section on its Web site, http://www.agd.org, which provides free tools the public can use to learn more about this issue.

Tooth erosion is the breakdown of tooth structure caused by the effect of acid on dental enamel that leads to decay. Dental enamel is the thin, outer layer of hard tissue that helps maintain the tooth's structure and shape while protecting it from decay.

"Our profession and our members continue to see an increase of cases of this condition mainly due to changes in nutritional habits," says AGD President Vinny Mayher, DMD, MAGD. "Members who participated in our survey felt that consuming soft drinks, as well as other foods with a low pH value, contributes to tooth erosion."

For example, soft drinks, which contain acids, break down the tooth surfaces. These acids also damage tooth enamel over time by dissolving the mineral structure of teeth, thinning the teeth. Eventually, because of repeated exposure to acid, the tooth's enamel will lose its shape and color. As the damage progresses, the underlying dentin (which is the tissue that makes up the core of each tooth) becomes exposed, causing the teeth to look yellow.

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SOURCE Academy of General Dentistry
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