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

tooth erosion, patients who eat or drink an acidic food or beverage should wait at least 20 minutes before brushing the teeth so as not to destroy the weakened enamel," according to David Bartlett, BDS, PhD, who led a discussion during the AGD's Annual Meeting & Exhibits titled, "Acid Erosion -- Why is it Important to My Patients." Dr. Bartlett also suggests eating acidic foods within five minutes, instead of snacking on them throughout the day, and eating these foods just during meal times in order to minimize the amount of time the acid is on the teeth.

Frequently consuming and continual snacking on foods with a low pH (potential of hydrogen) value, such as fruit juices, pickles, fresh fruit, yogurt, honey and raisins can lead to irreversible dental erosion. Dr Bartlett says it is important to also beware of habits such as lemon-sucking and swishing soda in the mouth. "Doing this extends the amount of time that enamel and dentin are exposed to the acids and can increase the structural damage. But eating fruit as part of a balanced diet is good."

Dr. Bartlett also encourages patients to talk to their dentist about the use of dentin bonding to help prevent tooth erosion, a procedure that dentists learned about during his course at the AGD's annual meeting. Dentin bonding is when the dentist paints a very thin layer (about the thickness of plastic cling film) on the surfaces of teeth showing signs of erosion.

"Together, with dietary advice and daily desensitizing toothpaste, the aim is to prevent and treat early or moderate signs of erosion on the teeth," says Dr. Bartlett. Early signs of tooth erosion also consist of dentin hypersensitivity. In other words, if hot or cold foods and beverages cause pain or sensitivity this is an indication of tooth erosion. Dentists may also recommend daily use of over-the-counter fluoridated anti-hypersensitivity toothpaste with a neutral pH to help re-harden softened tooth enamel.

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SOURCE Academy of General Dentistry
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