|Interview with Dr. Manuel Vögtli of elmex Research
elmex EROSION PROTECTION Twitter Takeover from 11th February 2014
Dr. Manuel Vögtli, we would like to ask you a few questions about what exactly dental erosion is. First, everybody might be wondering: what is dental erosion?
Dental erosion is the destruction or dissolution of dental hard tissue, due to frequent exposure to acids.
What are the risk factors?
Some food/beverages are acidic and attack our enamel including certain fruits, salad dressings, energy drinks, sodas or white wine. Also, people with reflux problems or bulimia have a high risk for dental erosion. Some medications are acidic, too.
Do modern eating habits and lifestyle affect oral care?
Yes, indeed. On the one hand people eat more healthily (fruits), on the other, energy drinks have become more popular.
That sounds like eating fruits and salads is unhealthy?
A healthy lifestyle is good for our body but may damage our teeth. Many fruits and salads are acidic and can harm our enamel. This means that even the healthiest people with excellent oral hygiene can be affected.
Why is dental erosion such a serious problem?
Unlike caries, erosion is an irreversible damage. Once the enamel is dissolved, it is gone. That’s why prophylaxis is key.
Why is it irreversible?
Once enamel erodes it cannot be restored. Cavities can be filled (repaired) by the dentist. That`s why prophylaxis is key.
Was there any dental erosion in the past? When did it start?
The awareness about this disease is rather new. Dental erosion is also a growing issue due to new eating and lifestyle habits.
How many people are affected by dental erosion in Switzerland?
Overall about one third of the Swiss population shows signs of erosion. In some age groups, the rate is even higher.
And in Europe?
The rates vary from country to country, but are also around 30% in average. In the UK, more than 50% of the population is affected.
How does it show?
Initial erosion is not painful and often unnoticed. In more advanced stages, teeth become silky, shiny and yellowish.
Who is affected? (women, young people, etc.)
Any gender or age group can be affected, depending on the lifestyle. Example: teenagers who drink a lot of energy drinks.
Does it mean we should stop eating healthily?
Not at all! Healthy nutrition is good for the body, but acids can cause erosion. The right oral care helps to protect one’s teeth.
What do you recommend to prevent dental erosion?
Because the damage is irreversible, we should keep an eye on our diet and adjust our oral care.
What else can we do to protect ourselves?
Adding calcium-rich food such as milk products and drinking soda, only together with food, helps.
Also, sugarless chewing gum stimulates saliva flow which has protective properties.
How/why is the elmex purple range helping?
The elmex EROSION PROTECTION toothpaste and dental rinse strengthen the enamel and protect it from dental erosion. They form a protective layer rich in tin ions on the tooths surface. Also, elmex EROSION PROTECTION toothpaste with ChitoActive technology is a daily toothpaste for people at risk of erosion. Key ingredients consist of: amine fluoride (caries protection), stannous chloride (acid protection) and chitosan (helps layer formation).