An illustration of the tooth's anatomy, which list the different parts and where tooth enamel erosion occurs.

Surprising Causes of Tooth Enamel Erosion

There happens to be a surprising number of seemingly harmless and healthy foods, beverages, medications and other non-bacterial factors that can cause tooth enamel erosion. This occurs when the saliva’s acidity/alkalinity level, is below the mean of 7 on a pH scale. It’s time to find out more about what exactly causes tooth enamel erosion and how it damages our teeth.

Causes of Tooth Enamel Erosion

Highly Acidic Foods and Drinks – Aside from wine acids, which we discuss in our “Cheers: How to Enjoy Wine Without Eroding Your Teeth” article, there are several more foods and drinks that can affect your teeth. This includes vinegar, fruits, juices, candies, and carbonated beverages.

All of these foods and drinks are acidic in nature. The lower the food or drink is on the pH scale, the more acidic it will be. Vinegar is an acetic acid, which has a pH level of 2.4. Some foods, juices and candies contain high concentrations of citric acid, which has pH level of 2.2. Lastly, carbonated beverages contain both citric and phosphoric acid, which has a pH level that varies.

Chewable Medications – A prolonged mouth exposure to medications such as chewable aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), chewable vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and hydrochloric acid tablets can harm the teeth. Additionally, some mouthwashes and salivary substitutes will have the same effect.

There is a high chance that people who are prone to gerd (acid reflux) or gastritis will incur tooth damage from their stomach’s own digestive hydrochloric acid. On the other hand, people with dry mouth (sometimes caused by medications) often lack sufficient saliva salts to buffer the acids.

Environmental Damage – People who are exposed to industrial pollution can suffer some damage to their teeth. Industrial pollution containing sulfuric or hydrochloric acid, may incur tooth enamel erosion. Even heavily chlorinated swimming-pool water will have some effect on your dental health.


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