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  • Dr. Barry Yu

PROTECT YOUR SMILE: UNDERSTANDING TOOTH WEAR, EROSION, AND HOW TO PREVENT THEM



tooth wear erosion

Maintaining a healthy smile involves more than just brushing and flossing; your diet and habits also play a crucial role in the health of your teeth. Tooth wear and erosion are common dental issues that, while different from dental decay, can still cause significant damage to your teeth if left untreated. Understanding these conditions and how to prevent them can help you protect your smile for years to come.




tooth wear erosion dental decay

Tooth Wear and Erosion vs. Dental Decay:


Tooth wear and erosion are caused by the gradual loss of tooth enamel due to various factors, including diet, habits, and bruxism (teeth grinding). Unlike dental decay, which is caused by bacteria and leads to cavities, tooth wear and erosion are the result of physical or chemical factors that wear down the enamel. While they may not always cause pain or discomfort, they can lead to serious dental issues if not addressed.



tooth wear erosion electric toothbrush

The Potential Consequences:


If tooth wear and erosion are not taken seriously or prevented from progressing, they can lead to more severe dental problems. This may include increased sensitivity, cosmetic concerns, and compromised tooth structure. In some cases, if the wear and erosion are severe and the nerve of the tooth becomes exposed or affected, root canal treatment may be necessary to address the underlying issue and alleviate toothache.






Prevention Tips:



balanced diet

Maintain a Balanced Diet:


Limit your intake of acidic and sugary foods and drinks, as they can contribute to enamel erosion. Instead, opt for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.


Practice Good Oral Hygiene:


Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to remove plaque and prevent tooth wear. Use a soft-bristled brush and be gentle to avoid damaging your enamel.




tooth wear erosion using nightguard

Use a Nightguard:


If you grind your teeth at night (bruxism), wearing a nightguard can help protect your teeth from excessive wear and damage.


Stay Hydrated:


Drinking plenty of water can help neutralize the pH levels in your mouth and reduce the risk of enamel erosion.




regular dentist visit tooth wear erosion

Visit Your Dentist Regularly:


Regular dental check-ups are essential for detecting early signs of tooth wear and erosion. Your dentist can recommend preventive measures and treatment options to protect your teeth.



Tooth wear and erosion may not always be top of mind when it comes to dental health, but they can have serious consequences if left untreated. By understanding the causes and prevention methods, you can protect your smile and maintain good dental health for years to come.


Remember, prevention is key. Take care of your teeth, and they'll take care of you.


To understand more about root canal treatment, CLICK HERE.


To understand more about teeth grinding and how to prevent it, CLICK HERE.


To understand more about how electric toothbrush can benefit you, CLICK HERE.


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About Authors

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Graduated with honors from the University of California, Davis (U.S.A.), major in biochemistry and molecular biology, Dr. Yu has further obtained his dental degree (Doctor of Dental Medicine) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine (U.S.A.).  Dr. Yu is qualified to practice in the US, Singapore and Hong Kong, and has over 10 years of practicing experience in the US before starting both practices in Hong Kong and Singapore.

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Dr. Chrissie Lam graduated from University of California, Berkeley (U.S.A.) with a bachelor degree in Nutritional Science before earning her doctorate degree in dentistry from University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry (U.S.A.). In her 10 years of practice she took care of her patients, both in U.S.A. and Singapore with her warm demeanor and excellent clinical skills. 

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