Your dentist will diagnose acid wear on the look of your teeth and the characteristic appearances that erosion, attrition and abrasion cause. They will then ask you various questions to try and get to the source of the problem so that further damage can be prevented.
Often acid wear may have been a problem previously, during a particular phase of your life (such as when you where staying up late drinking energy drinks as a student) and has not progressed much since. However, since the effects are irreversible, depending on how much wear has occurred, it means you are that bit further down the erosion path and so more vulnerable to future problems.
Some questions that dentist may ask you:
Do you suffer from any gastric regurgitation from your stomach?
Most patients will notice this- if they do- because of the taste, but sometimes it can be occurring at night, so you may be unaware of this.
Are you often sick?
If you were to say" Yes", they may ask some more probing questions about pregnancy, alcoholism and eating disorders including anorexia and bulimia to try an establish the cause of the acid.
How much alcohol do you have a week?
Most alcoholic drinks are quite acidic particularly the sweet sugary tasting ones.
Obviously anything with a mixer, be it orange juice, coca cola, lemonade, cranberry juice, are all going to be acidic, so if you are take them regularly this could be a problem. Have you ever made a Mojiio? If you have, you know what I am talking about- in fact all cocktails tend to be very acidic. Heavy binge drinking could also be associated with vomiting. If you regularly get to that point - just be aware.
Do you have a high intake of acidic foods and drinks?
You may not know what these are- check our acidic food and drink list to find out (coming soon). The dentist may ask you questions about your diet and go through some of the most common and most damaging things, just to see if they ring any bells.
Diets can be a bit tricky to recall off the top of your head and so the dentist may suggest a diet diary
, (the same as is used for dental caries) .That is all food and drink over a week or a 4 day period, including two weekdays and the weekend. What? When? And how much? should be recorded. All food and drink should be recorded. There's a big tendancy to become healthy for the period you are recording, which is good, (as long as you keep it up), but it may hide the true source of the problem.
Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth either during the day or at night?
Any type of what we call 'parafunctional habits', meaning abnormal motions that you frequently and automatically do without thinking, may damage your teeth and can cause significant tooth wear. This includes:
- Rocking your teeth back and forwards
- Chewing on pencils or fingernails