Acid Erosion – A Growing Concern


Here at Shelbourne Dental Clinic and at dental surgeries throughout Ireland and the rest of the world, dentists are seeing a significant increase in people presenting with teeth wear and problems as a result of Acid Erosion.

Acid ErosionBecause of this, we thought we might post some information here on the website to give people a better understanding of this condition, and of course to tell people how we treat the problem. We often find that by the time people become aware of the problem themselves, the condition is already quite advanced.

What is Acid Erosion?

Acid erosion is essentially a softening of the outer layer of the tooth (enamel) leading to tooth wear. This makes the tooth more susceptible to further damage and can be a very unpleasant condition for the patient.

How does it happen?

Quite simple really. When tooth enamel is exposed to acid, it temporarily softens and it’s mineral content or ‘hardness’ is reduced.

Acids come from 2 sources: Intrinsic and Extrinsic.

Intrinsic acids come from within the body. Acid from the stomach regurgitates up into the mouth e.g. during vomiting.

Extrinsic acids come from sources such as food & drink. Acidic food and drink might include things like certain fruits (e.g. Kiwis), some fruit juices, soft drinks, wine, lemon juice, tomatoes, vinegar etc.

How do we manage acid erosion?

First of all, we would advise that you regularly visit your dentist / hygienist to ensure that the problem is detected and treated at an early stage.

If dental erosion has been diagnosed the first stage is to record accurately how severe and extensive the damage actually is. We will usually take some clinical photographs and plaster moulds of your teeth. This allows us to monitor the erosion over a period of time.
If you have been diagnosed as suffering from Acid Erosion, we would advise that you follow this advice:

  • Limit acidic foods and drinks to meal times. The mouth can withstand approx 3-4 acid ‘attacks’ per day so consume your acid sources at mealtimes!
  • An obvious one….reduce the number of times during the day that acidic foods and drinks are consumed.
  • Avoid ‘swishing’ acidic drinks in your mouth.
  • Where possible, use a drinking straw when consuming juices and soft drinks.
  • Choose soft drinks which have ‘no added sugar’ and have been shown to pose a negligible risk of tooth erosion.
  • Consume (acidic) drinks over a shorter time, rather than constantly sipping at them for a prolonged period; doing this reduces the time that the drink is in contact with the teeth.
  • Finish meals with a piece of cheese or a drink of milk to counteract the acid foods previously consumed.
  • Delay brushing teeth immediately after having acidic foods or drinks. We would suggest about 10mins or thereabouts.
  • It is often possible to improve the appearance of teeth that have been eroded with the use of composite fillings, veneers or crowns. However, it is important that the cause of tooth erosion is identified first before this type of dental treatment is carried out.

Opening Hours

Monday 08.00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday 08.00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday 08.00am - 5:00pm
Thursday 08.00am - 5:00pm
Friday 08.00am - 5:00pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Contact Us

7 Grand Canal Wharf, South Dock Rd, Dublin 4
Eircode: D04 R860
Phone: 01 6655900
Fax: 01 6655901

Connect With Us!