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[IPk] Tooth enamel & sensitive teeth

 Hi guys, I have put my dental nurse and oral health educator hat on to answer
some of these queries on teeth.
 Erosion (erosion of tooth enamel, irreplaceable) is caused by consuming acidic
food/ drink, such as fizzy drinks, whether they contain sugar or not.(which also
scarily affects the bones). Coke, Pepsi etc are absolutely bad news for teeth.
Other foods which cause erosion are orange juice, lemon juice, over- consumption
of fruits such as apples, things containing vinegar, cider, alcopops, etc. It is
also seen in people who have acid reflux, and bullimics. The effects can be
minimised slightly by rinsing with water after consuming such foods, or drinking
milk. These food items actually open up the 'pores' of the teeth and the next
layer of the tooth exposed which is the dentine, a much softer substance and
very sensitive.
 When we consume sugar it coats the teeth and forms plaque. When sugar in any
form is introduced into the mouth, bacteria in the plaque react with the sugar
and produce acid, which if left on the teeth for any length of time eats into
the tooth, causing decay.
 Saliva amazingly contains bicarbonate which is a buffering solution, and
counteracts the sugar, but this buffering effect will only protect the teeth if
the 'acid attacks' are kept to a minimum, current advice is to only have a
sugary snack after a meal and never in between meals - not much help if you have
a hypo mid morning!
 However, if the sugar/ hypo treatment is kept to a measured dose, say for
example 4 glucose tablets, a measured dose of 15/20ml of glucose liquid, or the
required number of jelly babies, instead of glugging on lucozade, Pepsi or
something else until you feel better, that will obviously be better for your
teeth, and you could follow it with a rinse of water, or even a fluoride
mouthwash if so desired.
 But never, ever clean your teeth after eating/drinking something acidic or
being sick, as the acid in your mouth combined with the abrasive particles in
toothpaste will further damage your teeth!
 The Colgate toothpaste previously mentioned is expensive, but very good (better
than dare I say it, the sensodyne we always used to recommend). Current advice
is to spit after cleaning your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, not to rinse
with anything, this leaves the fluoride to work on your teeth, as they will
absorb the fluoride over the next couple of hours, to help to strengthen them.
If the teeth are very sensitive you can rub it on at bedtime and leave it to
work, in 2 weeks you will notice the benefit.
 A fluoride mouthwash can also be used to help strengthen your teeth, but only
use it during the day, not after brushing as it will rinse away all that
expensive fluoride toothpaste down the drain!
 As Di mentioned if, as a person with diabetes you are concerned about your
teeth Duraphat toothpaste can be prescribed by your dentist - it is very high in
fluoride and we regularly prescribe to people whose teeth are susceptible to
higher degrees of damage.
 I hope that this information will be of interest/use to some of you. At some
dental practices this advice will have cost you a small amount!

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