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What is acid wear?
What causes acid wear?

Acid Wear: Effects

What are the signs and effects of acid wear?
What is the link between acid wear and tooth sensitivity?
What are the long term consequences of acid wear?
How quickly can the effects of acid wear occur?

Acid Wear: People Affected

How many people are affected by acid wear?
Is the number of people affected by acid wear increasing?
Who is most likely to be affected by acid wear?
Can children have acid wear?
Is it true that acid wear is something that people should not worry about until they are older?

Acid Wear: Prevention

What can be done to help prevent acid wear?
Can acid wear be reversed?

Acid Wear: A Modern phenomenon?

Why is acid wear only now becoming a problem?
How long have dentists known acid wear is a problem?

Sensodyne® ProNamel™

How does Sensodyne® ProNamel™ protect teeth from acid wear?
How often do I need to use Sensodyne® ProNamel™ for it to be effective?
Does Sensodyne® ProNamel™ repair tooth enamel?
Do I need to use a regular toothpaste alongside Sensodyne® ProNamel™?
Does Sensodyne® ProNamel™ do everything my normal toothpaste will?
Are there any side effects from using Sensodyne® ProNamel™?



What is acid wear?
It is a form of tooth wear that is caused by acid softening the surface of the tooth's enamel. When tooth enamel (the tooth's hard surface) is exposed to acids (from food, drinks or the stomach, e.g., due to sickness or regurgitation), it temporarily softens and loses some of its mineral content. Saliva will help neutralize acidity, restore the mouth's natural balance and slowly re-harden the tooth enamel. However, because the tooth's recovery process is slow, if the acid attack happens frequently, the tooth does not have a chance to repair itself. When the enamel is soft and we brush our teeth, the enamel can be worn away more easily, become thinner over time and lead to the signs of acid wear. This wearing of enamel caused by acid in our diet is called acid wear.

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What causes acid wear?
Frequent consumption of food and drinks with a high acid content can cause acid wear. When tooth enamel is exposed to acids (from food, drinks or the stomach), it temporarily softens and loses some of its mineral content. Saliva will help neutralize acidity, restore the mouth's natural balance and slowly re-harden the tooth enamel. However, because the tooth's recovery process is slow, if the acid attack happens frequently, the tooth does not have a chance to repair itself.

Wine, fruit juices and various fruits can be highly acidic and therefore potentially damaging to the teeth. Acidic foods should not and cannot easily be avoided, since they are important to a healthy diet. But care needs to be taken as to when and how often they are consumed. It is not just what is consumed that causes acid wear, but also the way that acidic items are eaten and drunk. Holding or retaining acidic food or drinks in the mouth prolongs the teeth's exposure to acid, therefore increasing the risk of acid wear. Swishing an acidic drink, for example, can increase the acidic drink's contact with the tooth or teeth, again increasing the risk of acid wear.

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Acid Wear: Effects

What are the signs and effects of acid wear?
Acid wear can wear down the enamel and change the texture, shape and appearance of teeth, which may also cause tooth sensitivity.

People often do not become aware of acid wear until it has reached an advanced stage. Detailed dental examinations can help to detect acid wear in its earlier stages. Here are the typical signs and effects of acid wear:

  • Sensitivity

As dentin becomes exposed through loss of enamel, twinges, tingles or aches may occur in the teeth when consuming hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks. Tooth sensitivity can occur at any stage of acid wear, from early to advanced.

  • Transparency

Teeth may appear slightly "glassy" or transparent near their biting edges. This tends to be an earlier warning sign of acid wear.

  • Discoloration

Teeth can have a yellow appearance as enamel becomes thinner and the darker dentin shows through. Discoloration tends to occur in the later stages of acid wear.

  • Rounded Teeth

As acid wear advances, teeth can develop a rounded, "sandblasted" look on their surface and edges.

  • Cracks

In the later stages of acid wear, small cracks and roughness may be visible at the edges of the teeth.

  • Cupping

Small dents may appear on the chewing surfaces of the teeth in advanced stages of acid wear. Fillings also may appear to rise up.

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What is the link between acid wear and sensitivity?
As tooth enamel is worn away, the underlying dentin may be exposed. This is a softer part of the tooth and as it becomes exposed, teeth may be more sensitive. As nerve endings in the teeth are activated, a slight twinge can be felt when consuming hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks.

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What are the long-term consequences of acid wear?
In the long term, the effects of acid wear may require dental treatment in order to protect the tooth and the underlying dentin. A dentist may decide to place a bonded filling, a veneer or a crown to restore the tooth to its former color and shape. In extreme cases, the damage caused by acid wear may result in extraction of the tooth.

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How quickly can the effects of acid wear occur?
There are many factors, however, which contribute to the progression of acid wear, most notably the frequency and concentration of the acids in contact with the teeth and the volume and defense of an individual's saliva. Personal lifestyles, consumption habits and teeth are different and all can affect the rate at which acid wear affects teeth. There have been instances where enamel has been stripped from teeth in a period of six months, but this is extreme and rare.

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Acid Wear: Those Affected

How many people are affected by acid wear?
98% of U.S. dentists observe acid wear happening among some of their patients.

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Is the number of people affected by acid wear increasing?
Yes, U.S. dentists report that they have seen an increase in the number of patients with acid wear. Improved oral hygiene and restorative treatments have extended the life span of teeth in the 21st century. However, as teeth are lasting longer, they are subject to the effects of wear, particularly from acids and tooth brushing over a longer time.

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Who is most likely to be affected by acid wear?
Experts agree that nearly everybody with natural teeth will develop some signs of acid wear.

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Can children have acid wear?
"Baby teeth" are at risk from acid wear because they are less mineralized and therefore the enamel is softer than it is on adult teeth. Attention should be paid to the acidic content of a child's diet.

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Is it true that acid wear is something that people should not worry about until they are older?
No, because experts agree that nearly everybody with natural teeth will develop some signs of acid wear.

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Acid Wear Prevention

What can be done to help prevent acid wear?
To help protect your teeth against the effects of dietary acids, there are several steps that can be taken:

  • Avoid brushing teeth immediately after consuming acidic food or drinks, when the enamel is most soft. It is best to brush teeth before meals or wait at least 1 hour after eating before brushing teeth.
  • Drink acidic drinks quickly -- don't swish them around in your mouth or hold them there for prolonged periods. Or consider using a straw placed toward the back of the mouth.
  • Brush teeth gently, but thoroughly, with a medium-soft toothbrush.
  • Have regular dental check-ups and talk to a dental professional about any concerns.
  • Brush twice a day, every day, with a toothpaste like Sensodyne® ProNamel™ to help harden tooth enamel.

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Can acid wear be reversed?
Once the damage has been done, it cannot be reversed. In the advanced stages of acid wear, there is likely to be a need for expensive and complicated dentistry to restore teeth to normal function. This is why understanding the problem and taking steps to minimize risk is so important.

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Acid Wear: A Modern phenomenon?

Why is acid wear only now becoming a problem?
In the 20th century, dental diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease were widespread. This greatly affected the life span of teeth and meant that most people did not retain their teeth for life.

Improved oral hygiene and restorative treatments have extended the life span of teeth in the 21st century. However, as teeth are lasting longer, they are subject to the effects of wear, particularly from acids, and toothbrushing for prolonged time periods. Not only that, people today expect to keep their teeth healthy and looking good for longer.

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How long have dentists known acid wear is a problem?
Dentists learn about acid wear resulting in tooth wear at dental school; however, in the past, they encountered it less frequently. Now, as people are keeping their teeth longer, dentists are increasingly seeing signs of acid wear and are beginning to become aware of the problem it poses in the 21st century. Dentists are becoming increasingly vigilant in looking for early stages of the condition.

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Sensodyne® ProNamel™

How does Sensodyne® ProNamel™ protect teeth from acid wear?
Sensodyne® ProNamel™ has been specifically formulated to help protect teeth from the effects of acid wear. It works in a number of ways:

  • It helps to re-harden enamel, making it more resistant to further acid attack.
  • It has low abrasivity to limit further enamel wear during the process of toothbrushing.
  • It is pH neutral (non-acidic) to be kind to tooth enamel.
  • It is specially formulated for people with sensitive teeth, which can be a sign and a symptom of acid wear.

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How often do I need to use Sensodyne® ProNamel™ for it to be effective?
Sensodyne® ProNamel™ should be used twice a day, every day, in place of your regular toothpaste. It will immediately begin to help protect teeth from further acid wear.

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Does Sensodyne® ProNamel™ repair tooth enamel?
Once tooth enamel is lost, it cannot be replaced. However Sensodyne® ProNamel™ can help re-harden tooth enamel that has been softened, protecting it from wearing away due to future acid wear.

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Do I need to use a regular toothpaste alongside Sensodyne® ProNamel™?
No, Sensodyne® ProNamel™ is a new toothpaste that provides all the benefits of a regular toothpaste: contains fluoride to fight cavities, freshens breath and cleans teeth. For maximum effectiveness, Sensodyne® ProNamel™ should be used twice a day, every day, in place of your regular toothpaste.

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Does Sensodyne® ProNamel™ do everything my normal toothpaste will?
Yes, Sensodyne® ProNamel™ provides all the benefits of a regular toothpaste. As well as helping to protect teeth against acid wear, it contains fluoride to fight cavities, freshens breath and cleans teeth.

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Are there any side effects from using Sensodyne® ProNamel™?
There are no unusual side effects from using Sensodyne® ProNamel™.

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