Most Alaska folks don’t often think of a tooth as a body part that fluctuates in strength. Our teeth seem to have a steady hardness and dependably grind food whenever we need them. However, teeth are dynamic organisms with chemical processes that occur continually.
The protective enamel that covers the softer interior is made of minerals. Enamel demineralizes (loses some of its density) when coming in contact with acids. Saliva can dilute and neutralize acid so the tooth can remineralize (re-harden). This process isn’t instantaneous, however. While the enamel is soft, the tooth is vulnerable to losing a microscopic outer layer of enamel. If the erosion continues, the much softer dentin is exposed. Eventually, the tooth may need to be extracted.
At Excellence In Dentistry, we are noticing an increase in cases of serious acid erosion. It is apparent that the typical Alaska diet is becoming more acidic.
The list of acidic foods may surprise you. They include eggs, gravy, asparagus, chicken, cottage cheese, honey, fish, ham, butter, sour cream, aged cheese, and yogurt with active cultures. Generally, food with a high sugar or artificial sweetener content are highly acidic.
Now let’s talk about drinks. You probably already know that soda pop and wine are not good for your teeth. Alaska teens that sip soda all day can have acid erosion while their young teeth should be at their strongest. In addition to soda, energy drinks are very popular in Alaska and cosmetic dentists are noticing the effects on their dental patients’ tooth enamel.
If you drink soda or energy drinks often, you may want to drink water or chew sugarless gum after downing a can. Stimulating saliva production can speed up the remineralization process.
If your teeth have become more sensitive in general, or in response to hot or cold foods or beverages, you may have acid erosion. To schedule an examination with Dr. Kirk Johnson at Excellence In Dentistry, call (907) 349-0022 today. We can use digital x-rays to assess the condition of your teeth and recommend treatment that will keep your enamel healthy and strong.
We are a full-service cosmetic dental office with hundreds of satisfied clients in Alaska. We offer a variety of dental procedures including dental implants, clear braces, sedation dentistry and tooth whitening.Â We are located at 1000 O’Malley Rd, Ste 101 in Anchorage. We are working to raise awareness of the oral health dangers of acid erosion. We hope you have benefited from this Excellence In Dentistry blog article and look forward to your visit.