Tooth damage is caused by the erosion or cracking of the enamel over time resulting to tooth decay and other dental health problems. This can be attributed to a number of factors including:
- The type and amount of bacteria you have in your mouth - some bacteria are good, and some are bad for your oral health.
- How much of sugar you eat.
- How much of high acidic foods and beverages you take.
- Whether you use fluoride products like fluoride toothpaste - lack of which will lead to dental decay.
Certain types of foods can also be a cause of tooth damage. These foods include:
- Sugary foods.
Many foods have sugar in them either in the form of glucose, maltose, sucrose or fructose. Processed foods like chocolate, cakes and soft drinks contain extra sugar which is harmful to your teeth. Sugar reacts with the bacteria in plaque and produce harmful acids which corrodes your enamel leading to tooth cavities.
- Acidic foods and drinks.
Acidic foods and drinks cause dental erosion. They wear away the enamel leaving the dentine uncovered which makes your teeth sensitive. Some foods and drinks are more acidic than others. The acidity of a product is measured by its pH value. Any food product with a pH value lower that 5.5 are more corrosive while those with a pH value of 7 are in the middle between acid and alkali.
Foods with a pH value below 5.5 include vinegar, red wine, lager and grapefruit while foods such as walnut, carrots and mineral water have a higher value than pH 7.
- Not eating enough vegetables and fruits.
Eating a balanced diet is vital for your oral health, fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins which help prevent gum disease, tooth loss and bad breath. When you do not eat enough vegetables and fruits it can cause dental problems like scurvy.
Eating and chewing naturally weakens your tooth enamel. The most efficient way to protect yourself from damaging your teeth is by:
- Brushing your teeth after every meal.
- Using sugar free chewing gum which makes your mouth to produce more saliva and those containing Xylitol help reduce tooth decay. Saliva helps cancel out the acid in your mouth after eating or drinking.
- Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
- Eat healthy well balanced meals.