Erosion of tooth enamel: causes and treatment


Erosion of tooth enamel is a non-carious lesion of teeth. When erosion affects not only the enamel but also dentin on the vestibular (front) or buccal surface. For defects typical symmetrical arrangement. Pathology is not only a cosmetic defect, but serious dental disease that requires immediate treatment because it can quickly progress.

Erosion of tooth enamel: causes and treatmentErosion of the enamel quite often accompanied by pathological dental abrasion.

Causes of erosion of tooth enamel

The exact cause of erosion is not yet known.

Among the predisposing factors include:

  • chronic mechanical damage (including when using paste with large chunks of abrasive and tooth powders);
  • chemical factors (excessive consumption of sour fruits containing phosphoric acid sweet carbonated beverages);
  • overloading the cervical areas of abnormal dentition;
  • regular intake of pharmaceutical drugs containing aspirin or ascorbic acid);
  • often getting into the oral cavity of gastric contents against the background of gastro-esophageal reflux disease.
  • endocrine disease (including thyroid disease);

According to clinical studies, patients suffering from thyrotoxicosis, erosion of enamel is diagnosed twice as often as healthy people. Each year, the hyperthyroidism increases the likelihood of non-carious lesions by 20% or more.

It is important

The risk group includes persons whose work activities involve inhalation of fumes of acids and of mineral dust.

Symptoms and classification

Erosion often affects the anterior teeth (incisors, canines, at least – premolars). The main clinical symptom of pathologies are defects or stains having a circular, oval or irregular shape.

It is important

According to medical statistics, of enamel erosion is diagnosed in 10-23% of patients from among those not employed in hazardous industries. Pathology is most often diagnosed in middle-aged women.

In the initial stages of the development process is determined by only a small loss of natural Shine of the enamel. With the development of erosions patients complain of pain from chemical and thermal factors, and enamel defects are formed with a shiny and smooth bottom. The current can be active and stable. If the process develops slowly (steadily), then the patient may for a long time not to pay attention to the presence of pathology. Most often, the specialist treatment for women because even in the early stages of the disease leads to the appearance of a cosmetic defect. Erosion of the front teeth visible when smiling.

Symptoms of erosion include:

Please note

The disease has a tendency to progression; it develops gradually (over 10-15 years).

Distinguish between active and inactive stages of the process. When the active phase defect size increases every two months and, if stable remission is observed for the average 9-11 months.

In accordance with the classification decided to allocate three basic types of erosion:

  1. Only affects the outer layers of enamel, a defect of Cup-shaped form has a whitish hue;
  2. Enamel affected the entire thickness to the dentine;
  • Pathology affects the dentine layer, and reveals the pigmentation (color erosion varies from light yellow to brown).


The disease is detected during the inspection by visual inspection. Especially good the defects become visible after thorough drying and treatment with 5% tincture of iodine. A solution of iodine gives a yellow-brown coloration of the diseased enamel.

Differential diagnosis of erosion is tooth decay in a “stage spots” and non-carious lesions of the enamel hypoplasia and wedge-shaped defects.

With the aim of identifying possible related violations of the functional activity of the thyroid gland shows an ultrasound scan of the organ of internal secretion. To exclude or confirm gastro-esophageal reflux should consult a doctor gastroenterologist.

Treatment of erosion of tooth enamel

Treatment erosion of the enamel involves remineralization of active therapy. It includes treatments of the applications of calcium and phosphorus and electrophoresis with a solution of calcium. Upon completion of the course is carried out by coating the teeth with fluoride varnish or gergelim. Also shown the intake of mineral preparations and vitamin complexes for 2-3 weeks (at the discretion of the physician). In marked cosmetic defect, the question of filling the defect of modern composite materials, or the manufacture of orthopedic structures – crowns, covering the entire surface of the tooth. Alternative to crowns is veneers are thin plates that the doctor notes on the vestibular surface of the tooth. This method of treatment allows to achieve a Hollywood smile, even when running non-carious lesions.

Quality criterion the therapy of early forms of erosion of the enamel is the smoothing of the defect and the disappearance of the pain syndrome when exposed to chemical and thermal stimuli. In the treatment of more advanced forms of the disease involving the filling of the defect with composite fillings to be invisible, i.e. to match the color of surrounding healthy tissue.


Measures to prevent erosion of the enamel include replacing hard toothbrush to a soft. You must use a little less abrasive and whitening toothpastes. Drinks can cause erosion (juices and soda), it is advisable to consume through a straw. After meals it is advisable to rinse the mouth with boiled water or a mouthwash containing antibacterial ingredients.

To strengthen enamel is strongly recommended to use toothpaste with a high fluoride content.

To visit the dentist even in the preventive purposes it is necessary not less than once in six months.

Plisov Vladimir, dentist, medical columnist