by Baseline of Health Staff
Many Americans assume that brushing after meals and before bed is enough to keep their teeth healthy, but it turns out that may not be the case. Dental erosion, or the loss of the enamel coating protecting the teeth, is a big problem in the US. When the enamel is not present to protect teeth, nerves in the teeth can be exposed, resulting in sensitivity and pain. The teeth can also turn yellow and become brittle, making them more likely to decay or to develop unsightly v-shaped notches.
What does dwindling enamel have to do with your excellent brushing hygiene? Apparently, friction can cause dental erosion — and that includes hard brushing, picking at your teeth with a toothpick, or wearing a retainer. But the rise in erosion is more likely due to our ever-increasing consumption of acid-based drinks and medications that eat away the enamel. Chemicals found in soda, citrus fruits, tea, coffee, and sports drinks can be factors. So can taking certain drugs such as aspirin and having medical conditions that bring stomach acid into the mouth, such as gastric reflux and bulimia.
The bad news is that the condition has become quite common among very young people. The study found that 30 percent of students ranging from ages 10 to 14 have tooth erosion — a solid indicator that soda consumption is the primary culprit, as kids that age haven’t had years enough to brush the enamel off their teeth, nor aspirin enough to melt it away.
It may not be life-threatening, but those who wince every time they eat something hot or cold know how debilitating the condition can be, as do those whose smiles have gone Medieval and those who are losing teeth due to decay. Until now, the primary prescription for protecting teeth from erosion has been fluoride — both in toothpaste and our drinking water. But lest we forget, fluoride has been implicated in:
- Destruction of the immune system
- Thyroid disease
- Up to a 39% increase in various cancers–with an astounding 80% increase in rectal cancer
- Genetic changes both in sperm and other cells
- Dramatic increase in heart-related deaths
- Brittle bones
- Bone cancer
- Chronic fatigue
- Gastrointestinal disturbances
- Increase in infant mortality
- Developmental issues in children
- Skin rashes after bathing
- Vision problems–including blindness
- Mottled teeth
- Fluoride is an extremely potent enzyme inhibitor.
Oh yeah, and in addition to all the above, it doesn’t work.
So, what are your options? Well, for starters, avoid soda and sugary foods that will wear down the enamel on your teeth. Make sure to floss daily and brush after every meal. Jon Barron also recommends turning to natural toothpastes to keep your teeth clean without harmful chemicals like fluoride. Some options include Coral White and Probiodent.
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