Tooth Erosion at the Gum Line

Enamel is the hard outer layer of tissue that covers and protects the teeth. Certain habits and health issues (more on that shortly), like drinking a lot of soda and eating sugary foods, can damage tooth enamel.


Erosion of enamel at the gum line is typically a result of tooth decay, but it can be caused by other conditions. Erosion caused by tooth decay is partly preventable with healthy oral hygiene habits.



Causes of Tooth Enamel Erosion

Enamel protects our teeth as we bite, chew, grind, and speak. It also protects against sensitivity to temperature changes and damaging chemicals.


There are two types of enamel erosion:

  1. Intrinsic Erosion

Intrinsic erosion is caused by something within the body, like digestive problems or psychological issues. Preventing intrinsic erosion can pose a challenge, as it requires treating the cause. Causes of intrinsic erosion include:

  • Acid reflux
  • Anorexia
  • Dry mouth
  • Low salivation
  • Bulimia
  • Alcoholism
  • Pregnancy
  • GI tract issues
  • Genetics


  1. Extrinsic Erosion

Extrinsic erosion is tooth erosion that’s caused by something outside the body, like:

  • Sugar
  • Diet sodas
  • Fruit drinks
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Diet high in fruit
  • Vitamin C
  • Aspirin



Signs of Tooth Enamel Erosion

Tooth decay has a broad range of symptoms. The most common ones are:

  1. Tooth sensitivity (to sweet foods and hot or cold temperatures).
  2. Yellowing of the teeth.
  3. Cracks, chips, and brittle or jagged teeth.
  4. Pain while biting, chewing, or speaking, or pain that doesn’t go away.
  5. Indentations forming on the surface of teeth.


If you notice any signs of tooth decay in your child, schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible. Kool Smiles Kids Club has partner dentists across the U.S. who offer quality dental care to suit any budget.



Kool Smiles’ Tips to Prevent Enamel Erosion

When it comes to tooth decay, the best offense is a good defense. Easy prevention methods include:

  • Brushing twice daily or after every meal.
  • Flossing once a day.
  • Limiting acidic and sugary foods and beverages.
  • Brushing (or at least rinsing) after a treat.
  • Drinking soda and juice through a straw to minimize contact with the teeth.
  • Choosing sugar-free gum.
  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Using toothpaste with fluoride.
  • Seeing a dentist regularly.


All children should see a dentist twice a year for a routine checkup. If an oral health issue arises, it’s best to catch it early.





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