South Jersey Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry
Tooth Enamel Acid Erosion
Enamel Erosion is a dental condition or result that has a seemingly infinite number of causes.
The actual "process" of enamel breakdown is essentially similar. Basic chemistry and molecular principles that operate in the "enamel environment" become disturbed.... unbalanced. Most of us practice the basic interventions for correcting these inbalances on a daily basis.
|Red Bull Habit
Key Variable: Saliva
Brushing our teeth after each meal (not too soon), brushing in the morning when we get up.... and before we go to bed. Basic teeth brushing serves to remove food particles and flush the oral cavity, which stimulates saliva production.
When saliva production and it's presence is not routinely overwhelmed with highly acidic foods, tooth enamel can endure a lifetime, given routine dental care. Since tooth structures and enamel are not self-regenerating... any perceived changes in saliva production (the experience of dry mouth) should not be overlooked or disregarded.
|Mountain Dew addiction
Highly acidic conditions in the oral cavity occur for two reasons, encompassing a variety of causes:
Excess consumption of acidic foods
- Energy Drinks (rapidly gaining "popularity")
- Energy Bars
- Soft Drinks (soda pop)
- Sports Beverages
- Sugared candies
- Sour candy
- Lime - Lemon sucking (citrus fruits)
- Processed snacks with high sugar content
- Coffee and tea beverages flavored with sugar
Xerostomia - Dry Mouth (cotton mouth)
- Reduced saliva flow is major characteristic
- Feature of an existing syndrome (e.g., Sjogren's Syndrome)
- Congenital Xerostomia
- Post chemotherapy medications
- Diabetic medications
- Amphetamine abuse (cotton mouth - meth mouth)
- Alcohol based mouth rinses
- Allergic reactions to restorative dentistry components
|Severe Erosion - Drug Induced
Saliva Chemistry Imbalance
Enamel destruction is cumulative. Patients should not assume that early signs of enamel deterioration will be reversed with mere changes in habits or eating-drinking preferences.
Many dentists, like Dr. Petulla, can provide a variety of medications or treatments that increase saliva production, including Salanium, Sensodyne toothpaste products, Oasis (saliva substitute) and a wide variety of Biotene products... some of which contain salivary enzymes (Lactoperoxidase, Lactoferrin, Lysozyme) that boosts and replenishes saliva's own defenses.
MI Paste is also available which helps to aid the natural remineralization process. In-office and at-home treatment programs can be developed for many patients.
|Successful Eroded Enamel Reconstruction
In situations where enamel deterioration is becoming more evident, enamel resurfacing or replacement can be achieved through a choice of lamination technologies (porcelain veneers) or entire tooth replacement via cemented crowns, porcelain jackets or implant supported crowns.
Representative Treatment Example
The last two pictures in our photo series represents a treatment of an actual enamel replacement and reconstruction need for a patient who was diagnosed with a classic methamphetamine abuse. The resulting severe xerostomia destroyed enamel and tooth structures. Combinations of porcelain crowns, veneer laminates and dental implants were used to recreate what Mother Nature once provided for this young male.
Contact Dr.Petullla and Dr. Kazemi and their staff at (856) 983-4846 to arrange a consultation for determining what options are available for different degrees of xerostomia symptoms. Learn more about teeth and enamel replacement technologies that are now available.
Or, you can use our on-line Ask The Dentist form to send any specific questions related to the material on this page directly to Dr. Petulla. She will respond to you directly with the information you are seeking.