Tooth erosion is different from tooth decay. It’s when your teeth wear down because of chemical and mechanical damage. While damage from tooth decay is localized to specific areas and can be treated with simple tooth-colored fillings, tooth erosion is more likely to need treatment with dental crowns and possibly an entire smile makeover because of the widespread damage, including

dental crowns, root canals, and maybe even dental implants.

Here are some common causes of tooth erosion that you should be aware of and treat as possible.


Bruxism is involuntary teeth clenching and grinding. It may be related to stress, can be caused by some medications, may follow a jaw trauma, or it may have no clear inciting incident. Bruxism can be a cause of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), but it can also be relieved with TMJ treatment.

Sugary, Acidic Drinks

soft drink being poured into glassMany of the beverages that we enjoy on a regular basis are actually acidic and can be highly damaging to teeth. Wine, for example, is highly acidic, as are some fruit juices. However, the most dangerous acidic drinks are sodas and sports drinks. The very low pH of these drinks, combined with a tendency to consume them in large quantities, makes these drinks a very potent source of tooth erosion.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause significant tooth erosion. GERD occurs when stomach acids bubble up in your throat during sleep. These stomach acids can be highly damaging for your teeth and gums.


The purging behaviors of bulimia also expose your teeth to high quantities of stomach acid. As a result, they can also cause serious tooth erosion, resulting in significant tooth damage over a relatively short period of time.

Hard Foods

Our teeth can be worn away by exposure to hard foods. Treats like popcorn can be significantly erosive to our teeth, resulting in heavy tooth wear.

But healthy foods can also be damaging to our teeth. For example, hard vegetables like carrots, collards, and Kale can all cause significant wear on our teeth when eaten regularly.

Abrasive toothpaste

Even your oral hygiene may not be suitable for protecting your teeth. Make sure you are not using an abrasive toothpaste, and always remember to brush gently with a soft-bristled brush. Aggressive toothbrushing or the use of abrasive toothpastes can lead to tooth wear and receding gums.

Have Your Teeth Eroded?

If your teeth have suffered significant wear and are now looking smaller or more damaged than in the past, it’s likely that you’re experiencing tooth erosion. First, track down the causes of your tooth erosion, and do what you can to limit or stop the damage. Then please call (949) 551-5902 for an appointment with an Orange County cosmetic dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.