Dear Dr. Glassman,
Over the past few years, I’ve tried to incorporate more fruits into my diet and replace sodas with sparkling water with lemon, but I’ve noticed that my teeth have become more sensitive. Could there be a connection?
Note: Jen M. is a hypothetical patient asking her dentist a typical question
Dear Jen M.,
Yes, many of my clients are surprised to find that some everyday foods and drinks, even healthier choices like oranges, apples and other citrus fruits that are high in acid, yet common in today’s modern diet, can increase your risk for Acid Erosion. Acid Erosion is a condition where your tooth enamel becomes weakened and softened, which can then be more easily brushed away over time. As a result, teeth can become sensitive. Acid Erosion can also change the color and shape of teeth. Teeth may become gradually thinner, duller and transparent.
The prevalence of Acid Erosion is a widespread and growing global issue, impacting young and older adults alike. Millions of Americans may be showing signs and symptoms without realizing it. As a dentist, this is concerning considering the condition may worsen over time.
The message here, however, is not to change a healthy diet. Fortunately, there are several simple, easy ways to reduce your risk for Acid Erosion that do not involve drastic changes. I’ve included my top-five tips below.
1. Don’t give up healthy food in your diet, but take a fresh look at how you eat it.
2. Don’t swish, swirl or hold acidic foods in your mouth for too long.
3. Many drinks, especially carbonated ones, can contribute to Acid Erosion. Try drinking through a straw or substituting the soft drinks with water or milk.
4. Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after eating or drinking and make sure you’re using a soft-bristled tooth brush.
5. Consider using fluoride toothpaste, like ProNamel(R), along with a fluoride rinse, to give you extra protection from the effects of everyday acidic foods and drinks. ProNamel is specially formulated to help strengthen and protect your enamel from the effects of everyday acids in the diet.
Finally, I encourage everybody to visit www.pronamel.us to take a four-question risk assessment quiz to determine your own Acid Truth, and learn about Acid Erosion and how ProNamel can help protect your enamel.
Dr. Debra Glassman, is a nationally renowned dentist, who practices on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. She is a paid spokesperson working with GSK Consumer Healthcare on the Acid Truth campaign to educate Americans about the surprising potentially negative impact of everyday food and drinks on our tooth enamel. She is working in collaboration with GSK Consumer Healthcare on the Acid Truth campaign.
About Sensodyne(R) ProNamel(R)
ProNamel(R) is the No. 1 dentist recommended brand for protection against the effects of Acid Erosion. ProNamel(R) Toothpaste has a unique formulation designed to keep our enamel, healthy, strong and well protected from the effects of every day acids. For more information on ProNamel(R) visit: http://www.pronamel.us.
Image adjusted to illustrate clinical situation.