Every year losing weight and eating healthily feature highly on many people’s New Year resolutions’ list. For those that make it past 17th January – apparently the most common date to give up on your resolutions – there is a hidden risk that patients need to know about; enamel erosion.
Dentists are increasingly seeing young, otherwise healthy patients who are unaware of what causes tooth wear. For those following what they perceive to be a healthy diet, it is important they are educated about the risks of acidic foods and beverages such as honey, yoghurt and many salad dressings, as well as diet carbonated drinks, fruit juices, smoothies and sports drinks.
Signs that indicate tooth wear is occurring include:
• Sharp or chipped anterior teeth
• Occlusal surfaces wearing flat and taking on a shiny, pitted appearance
• Altered occlusion as vertical height changes
• Restorations standing proud of the teeth
• Abfraction lesions developing cervically
• V-shaped notches or shallower cupping present cervically.
If the damage is extensive, referral to a specialist may be recommended either for treatment planning advice only or for the provision of comprehensive care. The London Tooth Wear Centre®, for example, offers an evidence-based and comprehensive approach to managing tooth wear.