Enamel Erosion- How it Affects Your Teeth

Article from Colgate Enamel Health http://www.colgateenamelhealth.com/enamel-101/enamel-erosion

You are what you eat. Making sure that you eat and drink the right foods and beverages is important to you and your teeth.

If you consume too many acidic foods and beverages, the acid could be wearing away your enamel. A multicenter research study reported that dental erosion is on the increase in the United States, making prevention more important than ever.

What Is Enamel Erosion?

Enamel erosion occurs when the enamel of the teeth, the exterior layer of tissue that covers teeth, is worn away or reduced by a chemical acid process. There are two types of enamel erosion.

Intrinsic Erosion

Caused by gastric acid and acid regurgitation due to medical or psychological issues (e.g. acid reflux anorexia bulimia etc.

Extrinsic Erosion

Occurs when dietary acids (e.g. sugar, diet sodas, fruit drinks, carbonated drinks etc.) contribute to the mouth's being in a very acidic state.

Signs of Enamel Erosion

When the enamel on the teeth wears down, it can cause several things to occur.

  • Teeth may become further worn down.
  • Teeth become discolored because the enamel has worn away and the dentin is exposed.
  • The edges of the front teeth may look transparent.
  • Tooth sensitivity can occur when the enamel is worn away both on the lip and tongue surfaces of the teeth. The dentin, the layer of tissue under the enamel, and it is more sensitive to touch, air, biting forces and acid exposure.

What Changes Can Be Made to Improve Your Teeth?

Once a dentist has examined your teeth, you may want to discuss your next steps to reduce enamel erosion in your mouth:

  1. Determine over what time span you have been suffering from enamel erosion.
  2. Identify the frequency of acid intake and how the acids are consumed.
  3. Consult a nutritionist to assist in dietary assessment and reducing acid intake.
  4. Determine if you suffer from gastric reflux, regurgitation or eating disorders.
  5. Identify teeth that might need to be replaced by cosmetic restorations and or bonding agents.

Enamel erosion affects all age groups and appears to be related to tooth sensitivity. Acidic foods and drinks may need to be reduced or even eliminated because of the erosion they cause. Desensitizing toothpaste can also be used for pain relief. Sealants or bonding agents may be considered to reduce the progression of enamel erosion. In addition, applying fluoride can help increase resistance to the acid dissolution but it will not remineralize your teeth.

Remember, it is always important to consult your dentist to discuss treatment options for enamel erosion.


  1. Information obtained on the U.S News Web site at http://health .usnews.com/health/healthday/080312/dental-erosion-on-rise-in-us_pr.
  2. Smith, BGN, Robb ND. The prevalence of toothwear in 1007 dental patients. J Oral Rehabil  1996, 23:232-239.

    Have Ill Fitting Dentures?

    Many people suffer from ill fitting dentures. This is due to changes in the mouth structure via bone resorption . Dentures remain the same while the mouth continues to go through change. 

    Some signs of ill fitting dentures are:

    • Loose dentures
    • Sores from dentures
    • Cracked or broken dentures
    • Trouble eating

    To avoid ill fitting dentures, it is important for patients with dentures to have regular dental visits so that adjustments can be made to their denture. 

    Some procedures that may be done are:

    • Denture reline - resurfacing the inside of the denture for a perfect fit
    • Denture rebase - replacing broken or cracked teeth with new teeth
    • Fabricating a new denture

    Shiny and New

    Late last year we remodeled our front office. Thank you to Edward Tang of EST Construction, our patient, who was in charge of the project. We're proud to have a more modern and bright waiting room for our patients which includes a television and artwork from another patient, Jason Enomoto. He captures beautiful water shots.  More of his artwork is displayed at Gaku, a restaurant just down the street from our office.

    front office honolulu dentist wade takenishi front office honolulu dentist wade takenish

    Your Child's First Dental Visit

    Our office has designed a process to make their first visit as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. Here are some tips that will help your child's visit be a positive experience.

    • It's never too early to start brushing your child's teeth. Start as soon as your child's first tooth erupts.  Never allow your child to go to sleep after eating or drinking anything WITHOUT BRUSHING OR WIPING DOWN THEIR TEETH FIRST!  This is very important to prevent baby bottle tooth decay and make their first visit a GREAT ONE!
    • Avoid using the dentist as a threat when scolding your child. For example: Don't do that or the I'll bring you to the dentist
    • Refrain from using words that may create unnecessary anxiety. For example: needle, shot, or pain.  Tell them, "We are going to see the dentist so he can count your teeth and make sure they healthy!"

    The First Visit

    A child's first dental visit is usually short and noninvasive. Our goal is to help your child become familiarized with our staff in a friendly, non threatening way.  During the exam, Dr Takenishi will check your child's teeth for decay, and assess their bite, gums, oral tissue, and jaw. Dr Takenishi will also go over the basics of oral health care for your child, dental development, and answer any of your questions.