Scientific background

Influencing factors and mechanisms of erosion

Promoting factors of dental erosion:

  • Acidic foods and drinks cause erosion by softening the enamel and making it susceptible to tooth wear (chemical factor).
  • Behavioural habits, such as tooth brushing and individual biological factors, such as individual saliva flow, also play a determinant role.
  • The risk of erosion will increase with an acidic tooth environment (chemical factor), a low tooth mineral concentration in saliva (biological factor), or through the use of inadequate oral hygiene techniques (behavioural faction).
Inhibiting factors of tooth erosion:

  • Maintaining a neutral tooth environment, having a favourable saliva composition and adequate dental hygiene habits may lower the risk and favour remineralisation and hardening of softened enamel.
Conclusion:

  • A shift from the healthy balance to erosion-promoting conditions occur, for example, with excess consumption of acidic drinks, which no longer can be compensated by the available saliva.
  • In short, the time required to re-establish a neutral condition in the oral cavity is proportional to the titratable acidity, pH, acid strength and calcium chelating capacity of the erosive agent.
  • A longer time for neutralisation means a longer exposure of the teeth to an erosive environment.