Prevention and Treatment Strategies

While dental erosion is not entirely preventable, it can be slowed down considerably. To this end, building awareness in the patient and patient education is key. Consider discussing the following with your patients:

  • Dietary factors – including the benefits of reducing consumption of acidic foods and beverages.
  • Behavioral habits – including not holding acidic liquids in the mouth, avoiding aggressive brushing, switching to a softer toothbrush, and avoiding toothbrushing after an erosive challenge to allow the acquired pellicle to provide protection.
  • Medications – including those that reduce salivary flow (such as antihistamines and antidepressants), and those that can trigger GERD.
  • Causes of intrinsic acid erosion – (such as bulimia), advising the patient to seek medical attention if necessary.2,39,40

Treatments may include the application of fluoride, which has been found to be especially beneficial at early stages of erosion, but not completely restorative. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests toothpaste formulated with stannous fluoride (SnF2), and in particular stabilized SnF2, is a particularly effective agent in the prevention of dental erosion, due in part to its ability to deposit a stannous-containing barrier layer onto the tooth surface during brushing.2,41-58 Studies have demonstrated the ability of the SnF2 to retain on the treated tooth surfaces for a significant amount of time after treatment helps provide enhanced protection to these surfaces against erosive acid attack. The use of saliva-stimulating lozenges or medications, the application of neutralizing strategies and calcium phosphate or hydroxyapatite containing products, and the use of adhesive restorative materials or minimally-invasive composite fillings to protect the affected regions might also prove to be helpful at reducing the progression of dental erosion.2