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Acid erosion is the wearing away of tooth enamel. Enamel is mostly calcium, which is dissolved away by acid quite easily. Food or drink with a pH of 5 or less can dissolve the enamel from teeth.
What are the symptoms, signs and effects of acid erosion?
Acid erosion can wear away the enamel and change the texture, shape and appearance of your teeth, and may also lead to tooth sensitivity. People often do not become aware of acid erosion until it has reached an advanced stage. Detailed dental examinations can help to detect acid erosion in its earlier stages. Here are the typical signs and effects of acid erosion:
1. Transparency: Teeth may appear slightly "glassy" or transparent near their biting edges. This tends to be an earlier warning sign of acid erosion.
2. Discoloration: Teeth can have a yellow appearance as enamel becomes thinner and the darker dentin shows through. Discoloration tends to occur in the later stages of acid erosion. 3. Rounded Teeth: As acid erosion advances, teeth can develop a rounded, "sandblasted" look on their surface and edges.
4. Cracks: In the later stages of acid erosion, small cracks and roughness may be visible at the edges of the teeth. 5. Cupping: Small dents may appear on the chewing surfaces of the teeth in advanced stages of acid erosion. Fillings also may appear to rise up. 6. Sensitivity: As dentin becomes exposed through loss of enamel, twinges, tingles or aches may occur in the teeth when consuming hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks. Tooth sensitivity can
occur at any stage of acid erosion, from early to advanced.
What is the link between acid erosion and tooth sensitivity?
As tooth enamel is worn away, the underlying dentin may be exposed, causing teeth to become more sensitive. When nerve endings in the dentin are activated, a slight twinge can be felt when consuming hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks
What are the long term consequences of acid erosion? In the long
term, the effects of acid erosion may require dental treatment in order to protect the tooth and the underlying dentin. A dentist may decide to place a bonded filling, a veneer or a crown to restore the tooth to its former color and shape. In extreme cases, the damage caused by acid erosion may result in tooth loss. It used to be rare to see enamel erosion but not anymore, especially in young people. This is due to increased ingestion of acidic drinks and candy. Soda pop, sports drinks, and coffee, as well as many juices have extremely low PH. Sweet and sour candy such as "nerds" cause a lot of erosion. It takes 20 minutes after eating or drinking for the mouth to "wash itself out," returning to a pH of about 7. When a person sips on coffee, soda, or sport drinks throughout the day he/she is constantly bathing the mouth in acid, never allowing it to be fully washed out. When one drinks coffee, soda, or sport drinks do it quickly, don't nurse it along. Some dentists believe that you should not brush immediately after eating acidic foods or drinks as the acid has "softened" the enamel somewhat. We recommend taking a drink of water afterward and swishing it around vigorously to clean the teeth. The pH values some popular drinks (The pH value of car battery acid is 1:00) Gatorade Clear Country Time Lemonade Coke Classic Capri Sun Powerade Lipton Brisk Nestea Lemon Iced Tea 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9
Pepsi One Mountain Dew Snapple Tea Orange Juice Diet 7-Up Accelerade A&W Root Beer Brewed Coffee Tea (brewed) Helpful Suggestions:
3.1 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.7 3.9 4.3 5.5 7.2
y y y y
Space out the consumption of acidic foods over the course of a day or a week so that your teeth aren't getting an "acid blast" all at once. Soda is a major cause of acid erosion. If it's your main beverage, consider cutting back and substituting water or another non-acidic drink. Or you could alternate between drinking soda and water. Swallow acidic beverages quickly to limit the time your teeth are exposed to the acid. Combine the consumption of acidic foods with other foods that can help neutralize their effects (e.g. milk, cheese, yoghurts) Use a straw to keep the acid in beverages away from your teeth Waiting at least an hour before you brush is easier on your teeth since your enamel remains soft for a while after you eat or drink something acidic.
To assist readers in determining the product pH levels, the approximate ranges of pH values are compiled below. Considerable variation exists between varieties, condition of growing and processing methods, etc. Data is presented for the edible portion of foods in their normal and natural state, unless otherwise designated. This information is provided by FDA in 2007.
Aloe Vera Anchovies Anti-pesto Apple Apricots Artichokes Asparagus Avocados Bananas Barley, cooked Beans Beets, strained Blueberries, frozen 6.10 6.50 5.60 3.30 3.30 5.50 6.00 6.27 4.50 5.19 5.60 5.32 3.11
Bread, white Bread, Cracked wheat Bread, pumpernickel Bread, Rye Bread, whole wheat Broccoli, cooked Brussels sprout Buttermilk Cabbage Cantaloupe Capers Carrots Carrots, strained Cauliflower Cauliflower, cooked Caviar, American Celery Cheese, American, mild Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Cream, Philadelphia Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Swiss Gruyere Cherries, California Chives Clams Clam Chowder, New England Coconut, fresh Coconut milk Codfish, boiled Cod liver Corn, canned Corn Flakes Crab meat Cranberry Juice, canned Cream of Asparagus Cream of Potato soup
5.00 5.43 5.40 5.20 5.47 6.30 6.00 4.41 5.20 6.13 6.00 5.88 5.10 5.60 6.45 5.70 5.70 4.98 5.90 4.75 4.10 5.20 5.68 4.01 5.20 6.00 6.40 5.50 6.10 5.30 6.20 5.90 4.90 6.50 2.30 6.10 6.00
Cucumbers Cucumbers, Dill pickles Dates, canned Eggplant Eggs, new-laid, whole Figs, canned Flounder, boiled Four bean salad Fruit cocktail Garlic Gelatin Dessert Ginger Gooseberries Grapes, Seedless Grapefruit Hearts of Palm Honey Jujube Raspberry Ketchup Kelp Leeks Lemon Juice Lentils, cooked Lettuce Lime Lobster, cooked Lychee Macaroni, cooked Mangoes, ripe Matzos Melons, Honey dew Milk, cow Molasses Mushrooms Mussels Mustard
5.12 3.20 6.20 5.50 6.58 4.92 6.10 5.60 3.60 5.80 2.60 5.60 2.80 3.70 3.00 3.08 2.90 5.80 5.05 5.50 6.17 6.10 3.70 4.70 3.38 5.20 7.10 4.70 5.10 3.40 5.70 6.00 6.40 4.90 6.00 6.00 3.55
Nectarines Noodles, boiled Oatmeal, cooked Okra, cooked Olives, black Onions, red Oranges, Florida Orange, Juice Florida Oysters Papaya Parsley Parsnip Peaches Peanut Butter Pears, Bartlett Peas, canned Pea Soup, Cream of, Canned Peppers Peppers, green Persimmons Pineapple Plum Nectar Pomegranate Potatoes Prunes, dried, stewed Potato Soup Prune Juice Pumpkin Quince, fresh, stewed Radishes, red Raisins, seedless Raspberries Rhubarb Rice (all cooked) Brown Krispies White
3.92 6.08 6.20 5.50 6.00 5.30 3.69 3.30 5.68 5.20 5.70 5.30 3.30 6.28 3.50 5.70 5.70 4.65 5.20 4.42 3.20 3.45 2.93 5.40 3.63 5.90 3.95 4.90 3.12 5.85 3.80 3.22 3.10 6.20 5.40 6.00
Rolls, white Romaine Salmon, fresh, boiled Sardines Sauerkraut Scallop Shallots, cooked Sherbet, raspberry Sherry-wine Shrimp Soda Crackers Soup Chicken Broth Corn Soup, condensed Cream of celery Soup, condensed Cream of Mushroom, condensed Cream style corn, condensed Soy infant formula Soy Sauce Soy bean curd (tofu) Soybean milk Spaghetti, cooked Spinach Spinach, cooked Squash, acorn, cooked Squid Sturgeon Strawberries Sweet Potatoes Swiss Chard, cooked Tamarind Tangerine Tea Three-Bean Salad Tofu (soybean Curd) Tomatoes
5.46 5.78 5.85 5.70 3.30 6.00 5.30 3.69 3.37 6.50 5.65 6.00 5.80 6.80 6.20 6.00 5.70 6.60 4.40 7.20 7.00 5.97 5.50 6.60 5.18 6.00 6.20 3.00 5.30 6.17 3.00 3.32 7.20 5.40 7.20 4.30
Broccoli Cheese Soup, condensed 5.60
Truffle Tuna Fish, canned Turnips Vegetable Juice Vermicelli, cooked Vinegar Walnuts, English Water Chestnut Watermelon Yams, cooked Yeast Zucchini, cooked
5.30 5.90 5.29 3.90 5.80 2.40 5.42 6.00 5.18 5.50 5.65 5.69
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