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Many people don’t realize that their tooth enamel is the strongest material in their body. And while this is true, it is still not infallible. Tooth enamel can be weakened through acid in the mouth. Tooth enamel’s job is to protect the bonelike layer beneath it, called dentin.

When acid in the mouth lingers on the teeth, it softens the enamel and wears it away. As the enamel thins and tiny holes are created, this exposes the network of nerves which the dentin protects. These holes create an opening for bacteria and plaque to invade, leading to tooth decay and cavities.

How do you know if you have enamel erosion weakening your smile? You may have erosion if your teeth are cracked or rounded, the teeth are appearing more and more transparent, the enamel features discoloration, or you have tooth sensitivity.

Acid can be found in foods like tomato sauce, ketchup, hot sauce and salsa, cranberries, citrus fruits, pickles. Consuming these with water can help lessen the acidic effects on your teeth.

Likewise, fruit juices and wine, and all carbonated beverages create acids on the teeth. It is helpful to limit these drinks to mealtimes rather than sipping them throughout the day. Foods that neutralize acids include cheese, nuts, oatmeal, mangos, bananas, apples, melons, eggs, vegetables, brown rice, whole grains, fish, and lean meats. You can also limit their contact with your pearly whites by drinking them through a straw.

And finally, there is acid already in the body which can harm tooth enamel. When stomach acid reaches your mouth via vomiting, whether from illness, pregnancy nausea, bulimia, or severe acid reflux, it can damage teeth over time. Seeking help from your medical professional can help.

If you are noticing the effects of enamel erosion and would like help, please call our DeMercy Dental team in Roswell, Georgia for assistance. Our dentist, Dr. Jeff DeMercy and Amanda Kossick can help you protect your pearly whites and provide you with the oral health tools your smile needs. Just call 770.641.8010 to get your smile back on track!