Thursday, August 30, 2018

Dental Erosion

Dental erosion, or a chemical dissolving of the teeth, can come from many sources and is one of the most under-treated and recognized conditions. What you eat and drink matters! Essentially, anything that has acidity in food can cause dental erosion. Citrus, soda (pop for you northerners), Gatorade (sport drinks) and even coffee have a high acid content. The constant bathing of the teeth in these mild / not so mild acids can cause severe damage to your teeth. Habits such as swishing acidic sodas, sucking / chewing on lemons can speed up the process and wreak havoc on your teeth.

Example of Erosion

There are several medical conditions which may cause harm to your teeth and are related to the acids produced in your stomach. Bulimia is a condition where people voluntarily induce vomiting on a regular basis to help control their self-perception of overeating. Acid reflux, or GERD, is the result of acids from the stomach leaking up to the oral cavity at regular intervals, pooling around the teeth during sleep and dissolving the enamel and dentin. Diet, a “leaky esophagus,” sleep apnea, and other conditions may introduce these acids into the mouth. These strong acids, if not checked, will dissolve teeth quickly.

Treatment depends on the condition that you have. Eliminating acidic foods and habits, getting medical treatment for GERD, sleep apnea and other conditions by your physician and dentist are some of the ways to help control erosion. Some treatments, such as high fluoride toothpastes, rinses, and bathing the teeth in solutions to initiate remineralization of the teeth, can be tried. Eating a healthy diet, with lower acid content, and drinking water instead of sodas can be helpful.

Please join our team this July, as we honor our Apex emergency responders by hosting a Water Drive to provide them with a supply of healthy, “non-acidic” water for the hot summer months. We are honored and proud of our local responders and would like to support them this summer. Let’s show our emergency responders how much we value them and the work they do. We invite you to stop by our office with a bottle or case of water to support our emergency responders. Every drop counts! Apex Dental is conveniently located in the Apex Medical Park at 1021 West Williams Street, Suite 101, Apex NC (next to Lab Corp).

Thanks for enduring my first blog. I hope that you enjoyed it! Please check back for more helpful dental health tips and ways to support the wonderful community we call home.

Dr John Kitzmiller, DDS

Useful links from The Academy of General Dentistry, Spear Education and the American Dental Association. I belong to these professional organizations.

Also, go to  for more dental educational information:
  1. Acidic value of foods
  2. GERD / Acid reflux
  3. Erosion Video
  4. Acid content by GSK
  5. Sleep Apnea – Spear Education


  1. How do know I have erosion?

  2. Your teeth will dissolve away and may become sensitive. Often there are no symptoms. Signs of heart burn after eating often will lead to leaky stomach valves.

  3. Previous comment by Dr Kitzmiller

  4. I’m going to cut back on the soda after reading this! Thanks for the great info!