What Is Acid Wear?

What Is
Acid Wear?

Acid Wear, also known as Acid Erosion, is the wearing away of the protective enamel on your teeth, often caused by exposure to everyday acidic foods and drinks.

whatisacidwear
A smiling woman is holding a juice glass.

It is of growing concern and could quickly become the next big threat to the long-term health of our teeth – it’s a real challenge for the 21st Century. Yet few people have heard of it.

This groundbreaking research has revealed that an acid-rich modern diet can cause Tooth Wear.

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1 in 3
1 in 3 young adults
are showing signs
of Tooth Wear*
37%
37% of 11-13 year olds
are showing signs of
Tooth Wear*
4
As few as 4 acidic
“exposures” a day can
put your enamel at risk*
*Findings based on 2013 European study
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It is of growing concern and could quickly become the next big threat to the long-term health of our teeth – it’s a real challenge for the 21st Century. Yet few people have heard of it.

This groundbreaking research has revealed that an acid-rich modern diet can cause Tooth Wear.

Tooth Wear is known to get worse over time, so this study is even more revealing as it shows that as many as 30% of young adults (18-35 year olds) are showing some signs of Acid Wear already. We may not be able to see the signs ourselves but when a dentist is checking for tooth decay or tooth pain, they will also be looking for these signs of Acid Wear:

  • Weak: the acids in everyday food and drink can weaken enamel making it easier to wear away
  • Thin: as more enamel wears away teeth can become visibly thinner
  • Transparent or See-through: as the enamel thins, the edges of your teeth can appear transparent or see-through
  • Yellow: as our weakened enamel is worn-away, the more yellow dentin layer underneath can become more visible
  • Dull: as the enamel wears away our teeth may lose their shine, making them appear dull

Over time, not only can these effects get gradually worse but teeth may also become sensitive as the protective enamel disappears and the dentin layer below is exposed. As few as four acidic “exposures” throughout the day can put enamel at risk from Acid Wear also know as Acid Erosion. It’s not just the fizzy drinks, coffee or wine; surprisingly it can even be our healthier choices: fruit, fruit juices, sparkling water with lemon and even salad dressings can count towards our daily acidic “exposures”. The good news? We can start protecting our teeth today, to help stop Acid Wear from getting any worse.

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Enamel And Acid Wear

Enamel is the white, mineral-rich protective outer layer of our teeth. It’s not just strong, it’s the hardest substance in our bodies. Surprisingly though, enamel can be weakened or softened just by the acids found in our everyday food and drink. Once enamel is weakened, it can more easily wear away, even during regular brushing.

Tooth Wear can be described as the loss of tooth substance (i.e. enamel) and is different from Tooth Decay. It can be caused by either mechanical (e.g. grinding) or chemical (e.g. dietary acids) challenges. Erosive Tooth Wear, also known as Acid Wear, is the wearing away of enamel often due to dietary acids.

*Bourgeois, D. et al. Is Dental Erosion and Dentin Hypersensitivity a Public Health Problem: Rationale of the European Collaborative Study. Presented at 101st FDI Annual

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