Dental Erosion

Updated: Sep 20, 2018

Dental Erosion was caused by lemon consumption over a lifetime. Lemons are highly acidic and strip the mineral enamel off the teeth every time the lemon juice makes contact.


Dental enamel erosion from lemon acid
Dental erosion from lemons

Other acids that can have similar effects are stomach acid (reflux), wine, sports drinks and acidic soft drinks like Coke, Pepsi, lemon squash etc. Switching to sugar free versions will not remove the acid attack and teeth will still erode with diet versions of these drinks.

The effect is compounded if there is decreased salivary flow. Being dehydrated or after exercise, the mouth becomes vulnerable to acid attack. Drugs can also have a side effect of a dry mouth : antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, sedatives, decongestants, analgesics, antidepressants and illegal drugs such as cocaine.


Acid erosion of enamel
First stop the lemons, then repair with composite resin

Combining a dry mouth with acidic drinks accelerates the erosion process.

Excercise and dehydration + sports drink = high risk of enamel erosion.

Fortunately the dentist, Dr Kim Davies, was able to protect the remaining eroded enamel by covering it with composite resin on the back and front teeth. This is a complex process requiring dental work on every tooth. Changes to the diet are advised for this treatment to have long term success.

The second back molar was not treated as it had a crack running through the length of the tooth. This tooth was placed on "stand by" to see whether it would need further intervention.

Salivary flow can improve with chewing gum an hour after eating. Calcium rich mineral pastes like Tooth Mousse are also beneficial in remineralising teeth. Once a cavity has formed however, it is too late for mineral substitutes, as the enamel has gone.


Acid erosion of enamel repaired with composite resin
Acid erosion of enamel repaired with composite resin