Acid Erosion

Sports Drinks And Soft Drinks

Acid Erosion is the process whereby teeth are dissolved or eroded by acidic chemicals. There are two main sources of acid:

  • Dietary (soft drinks, sports drinks, wine, cordial, juices and many more)
  • Gastric (vomiting, reflux, morning sickness). This loss of tooth structure can result in sensitive, weak teeth which are easily damaged and have a poor appearance. Staying well hydrated with water can prevent acid erosion. Saliva protects your teeth by neutralising acid. The major cause of poor salivary flow is dehydration. People who live in hot climates like Queensland are particularly prone to dehydration, especially those who work outside or have physically demanding occupations. Some medications cause a dry mouth; please tell your dentist what medications you take.
  • Every time you drink something acidic, rinse your mouth with plain water immediately afterwards.
  • Only brush with a soft or ultra-soft toothbrush.
  • Don’t use whitening toothpaste as it is very abrasive.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after drinking or eating something acidic.
  • Don’t dwell on acidic drinks. Every time you take a sip you replenish the acid attack on your teeth.
  • If vomiting or reflux occurs rinse your mouth with baking soda to neutralise the acid. Mix half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water.
  • Avoid ‘acidic rehydration’. Cut down on acidic drinks and totally avoid them after physical activity and before bed.


  • Find the cause
  • Prevent further damage
  • Repair Severe Damage with restorations

Eating Disorder

Eating disorders such as bulimia are often obvious to a dentist due to the characteristic pattern of tooth erosion.  Usually the tooth damage can be easily addressed by covering the eroded tooth surface with white filling material, which prevents further tooth wear.

Other helpful preventative measures can be discussed with your dentist.  If the dentist notices the characteristic pattern of tooth wear, it will be discussed confidentially. However it is often a good idea to involve the patients GP to ensure there is not a systemic or other cause for the reflux/vomiting.