Is your morning glass of lemon water causing irreversible damage to your teeth?
Many people drink lemon in water upon waking as part of a diet, detoxification or to simply stimulate the digestive enzymes. While drinking lemon water in the morning is quite fashionable, did you know its causing irreversible damage to your teeth?
What is Erosion?
Erosion is the loss of tooth enamel caused most commonly by an acid attack. Lemons are highly acidic and are referred to as citric acid. Over time, routine consumption of lemon juice washing over your teeth will cause the enamel to erode, eventually exposing the under layer called dentine. Dentine is closer to the pulp chamber where the blood and nerve supply lie.
What impact does Erosion have on your teeth?
Darker in Colour – As your teeth erode, your enamel will become thinner and the yellow dentine will become more visible giving your teeth a darker appearance.
Sensitivity – You may also experience tooth sensitivity to cold food, beverages and sometimes even air.
Decay Risk – Teeth that are compromised by erosion are generally more susceptible to decay.
Things you can do to prevent Erosion.
- After drinking the acidic lemon drink, rinse your mouth straight away with tap water. This will wash the acid away from the oral cavity and will help to return the normal pH balance in the saliva.
- Do not brush your teeth straight after drinking lemon water. You should allow your teeth to re-mineralize for 1hour before brushing. Brushing your teeth whilst under an acid attack will erode teeth even faster due to chemical wear from the acid softening the enamel, in conjunction with mechanical wear from brushing.
- Another way to fight the acid attack is to chew sugar free gum after drinking lemon water. This will increase salivation which neutralizes the acidic environment in your mouth.
- Always use a soft or ultra-soft bristle toothbrush, avoid using a scrubbing back and forward motion. Instead take a gentle approach, pointing the brush head at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line and massage carefully from tooth to tooth.
- Drink lemon water through a straw to bypass acid on your teeth.
- Use a fluoridated toothpaste and drink tap water to help strengthen the enamel.
- If you already have enamel erosion and would like to hear further options, consult with one of our friendly practitioners at Dentists@Pymble.